18-year-old uni student Olivia Nguyen has been a swim teacher for a year and teaches children from kindergarten age through to Year 6. She works part-time and says the jobs fits perfectly with her uni classes and study commitments.
Olivia was a competitive swimmer and says she was attracted to swim teaching as a job option because she remembered the fun she had at swim lessons, and wanted to recreate that environment for other young children. She says there is a shared purpose among her colleagues that makes for a very friendly and supportive work environment.
For Olivia, the best thing about being a swim teacher is the kids and the important role she has helping them be comfortable in the water and seeing them improve their water safety and swimming skills.
“When kids ask for hugs at the end of the lessons, you know that you are someone who is important to them.”
She also believes swimming is a fundamental skill everyone should have.
For people considering a job as a swim teacher, Olivia says you need to be a good communicator, be organised, compassionate and patient. She highly recommends the job, as it is extremely rewarding to know you will and do impact someone’s life is a positive way.
Swim teaching is a completely new career for Jaqueline Wong, who was a senior corporate banker before she made the switch a couple of years ago. Having been passionate about swimming and water safety since she was a child, it was a chance incident that led her to taking up swim teaching.
“One day I went swimming with friends and one of the ladies who joined us didn’t get in the water because she couldn’t swim. I offered to help her learn to swim and that’s when I decided to get my qualifications and take it up as a career.”
Jacqueline saw the opportunity to make swim teaching a full-time career and after teaching at other swim schools, she recently started her own business teaching adults to swim. She was able to keep her corporate job as she built up her business and now devotes all her time to swim teaching. Having skills from her former career in the areas of cultural diversity and inclusion, she has a strong focus on teaching adults from different backgrounds.
Jacqueline says the most satisfying part of the job is seeing kids and adults overcome their fear of water and grow to love swimming. She is passionate about swim teaching and says it’s all about sharing the joy of swimming. She is particularly proud that two adult clients she has been coaching since 2019 this year competed in a triathlon.
Passion, enthusiasm and patience are key to being a good swim teacher, Jacqueline says. She believes it is important to build that mutual trust and connection with your students, so they will look forward to coming to swim lessons. If you can do that, the rewards and opportunities are limitless.