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Instructor Foundation/Training Courses


What to expect from the Instructor training courses, from personal accounts of instructors who attended them.

The first BSAC course used to be called the Instructor Training Course, but is now called the Instructor Foundation Course.
It is still essentially the same course. For ITC read IFC.

BSAC ITC (Instructor Training Course)    {Written by Kate Rowley}

The ITC I attended had the following format:
The first day was the learning bit. There were a number of lectures on how to get the message across in the most valuable way in both the pool and the classroom. We were given demonstrations of how to teach effectively in the classroom and pool. At all times we were
encouraged to discuss ideas we had and approaches we had liked and dislikes. Communication within the group was relaxed and everyone contributed to discussions and brain storming sessions. During the day you're set a lecturette and pool lesson to teach the following day.
You are given topics for the lecturette a few weeks previously so these can be read up on before hand. There's a lot to take in in one day but gradually you begin to work through it and leave the end of the first day tired but enthusiastic. During leaving the site and
returning the next day you will need to prepare your lecturette and pool session (there's usually a trip to the local curry house to attend as well!).  
The second day is where you get to give your lesson and lecturette. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal and if you make mistakes they will be corrected but you are not judged by them. At the end of the course you are given chance to give feedback and quiz the
instructors. This is a really valuable time where you can clear up any problems and suggest any modifications you would like.
The most important thing to do prior to the ITC is to approach it with a totally open mind. You will learn a lot on the course and it can change ideas you've relied upon for years. At the end of the day the ability to listen and incorporate ideas you've learned will make you a better instructor - which means you will help students learn more effectively and your teaching will become more enjoyable. 

Kate Rowley C.I.

15th March 2001

BSAC OWIC (Open Water Instructor Course)   {Written by Danny Edmunds}


OWI Course - Sunday 4th April 2001 
This was organised by Andark, run by Fiona Boorer and consisted of myself and two other CIs from ICUC and three CIs from Portsmouth Uni (I think - if I'm wrong on this one, please let me know and I'll correct it).

a.m. at Andark Diving
- A brief intro mapping out the broad aims of the course and including the all important reading of the fire regulations.
- Pointed out the similarities and differences encountered between teaching the skills in the pool and teaching them in the open water.
- Emphasised the increasing necessity for planning the lesson including such factors as the entry/exit points, problems caused by restricted visibility, cold and so on. Also touched on important of providing a reference point for the lesson (particularly setting up a mini-shotline using various weights, an smb and reel.
- Covered importance of thinking through SEEDS and REAP for the student's pre and post-dive briefings.
- Divided group up into three groups of two (one from each club). Each pair was given a topic to plan as an open water training dive. (Topics covered were CBL, AAS and Navigation.)
- After about 15 mins, the group reconvened and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each of the three plans.
Course Debrief
- Fiona decided to do this as the last session of the morning, rather than drag everyone back to Andark after the afternoon.
- Essentially a wash-up and "What happens next" session

p.m. at Horsea
Practical lesson
- Fiona did a general lesson on beaching as a demonstration.
- The group was split again, this time into two groups, one with Fiona and one with an Advanced Instructor (who's name I've forgotten - sorry!). Each group had one person from the planning groups in it.
- One person from each group taught the topic they planned in the morning to the other two. Each of these practice lessons took about 20 minutes, after which feedback was given by the Advanced Instructor/Fiona.
Was it worth it?
Yes. It's always interesting to interact with other instructors and swap notes. I also learnt a new method of beaching I hadn't come across before. It would probably have been better had the group not consisted of two sets of three university club instructors, a wider range of experience could have proved interesting.
Top tip:
Make sure you take full kit with you. As we were kitting up for the afternoon session, one of the instructors from my club realised he'd left his Stab Jacket in London and ended up hiring one that was several sizes too small.

Danny Edmunds





BSAC AIC (Advanced Instructor Course)

Links to two experiences of AIC by Roger Harding and Maxine Smith:

Personal accounts of AIC's