How to choose your swim instructor/ Swim instruction program

It is the time of year where parents are looking for a swim program that will help their child learn how to swim. Learning how to swim is a very important life skill and it is a very healthy activity. I have over 15 years of experience of teaching swim lessons and overseeing swim instruction programs. Here is what I tell parents/guardians to ask when searching for a program or specific swim instructor:

  1. What swim program curriculum will be used to teach my child?
  2. Is your swim program researched based?
  3. How many years have you used the program, and what are other customers saying about your program?
  4. How do you monitor my child’s progress?
  5. How many years of experience do your swim instructors have?
  6. Do your swim instructors have experience working with the age group that my child falls into?
  7. What is the ratio of instructors to students in the class?
  8. What swim equipment do you have to help my child learn how to swim?
  9. Do your swim instructors hold a certification or are they trained in house by your program?
  10. Are your swim instructors lifeguard certified?
  11. What safety procedures do you have in place?
  12. Can parents sit on the deck to watch my child? ( Some programs will tell you they do not because they feel it impacts the student’s ability to learn. There is research that supports this)
  13. How long will each lesson last?
  14. Will the swim instructor be in the water modeling skills? (Some skills can be modeled on the deck, but an instructor should be in the water as much as possible).

I highly recommend that parents/guardians do their research about the program they are interested in. Read the reviews from google, yelp, Facebook, etc. Negative reviews do not always mean the program is horrible. Try to see if you can talk with the customer about their experience if no one is recommending the program to you. Please remember that in order for your child to make progress in their swim lessons it is recommended that lessons run at least 3-5 days for a minimum of 30 minutes for ages 3 and up. If you are not satisfied with the program that you are in, inform your child’s swim instructor and program manager. Immediate feedback from the customer will help meet your specific goals.