So, last night i was helping an open water class. This is the very basic, entry level certification course. I've worked with the instructor before, so I sort of knew what to expect from him. There was another dive master canidate along to help too, which was a good thing.
We had 8 students...which is a fairly big class, given there was only one instructor and no full DM's to help.
Half the students didn't appear to even bother to open the book before class. This slowed down the classroom portion because people weren't familiar with the material.
Half the students failed the first exam, which they must pass to even get in the water. Now, this isn't stuff like dive theory or anything heavy, this is basic information about your equipment and how to use it safely. Luckily, they passed the second time around, but this just put us behind schedule more.
Finally, we get them in the pool...takes a bit to get everyone outfitted, then a demo on how to put the gear together. They all seem to do well doing that, thankfully.
Then we get them in the pool...and that's where it gets more fun. We ask them to kneel in the water...half the people are sitting on their butts. We get people constantly playing with the purge value as we're trying to explain things on the surface. We get people that feel uncomfortable because they get a little water in their mask (which is always going to happen) and surface over and over again. Many people are breathing out through their nose and fogging their mask so much that we can't see them. We only get one skill done...clearing the regulator...and multiple people need to redo because they freak out and stand up...and this is all before we try out the deep end with them.
Once we get them to the deep end, it just continues. One lady spent more time on the surface because she wouldn't accept any water in her mask. I spent most of the time bouncing between the surface and underwater checking on people. That's not to say all were bad, a few seemed like naturals. However, there were a few that seemed completly uncomfortable underwater and no amount of class is going to help that.
So, we stopped around 10, because the next skill had to do with putting water in your mask and clearing it. With so many people freaked out by a little water in their mask, this wasn't going to be good if we tried it last night. After cleanup, got out of there after 11, stopped for dinner, got home after midnight.
Next class for them is tomorrow night...hopefully they will be more prepared...
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