SIP 032: Class setup: Instructor with assistants

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What do you do with new staff that have been trained, but still need some practical experience before they start teaching classes on their own?


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Step one should be to go through a training session. We use the SLI Swim Instructor training workbook, which is a three day course where they are walked through all the 15 essential swim skills, then we review HOW to actually teach. They learn what waves are, the rotation method, and how to use command language.


Topic: Training new staff with “assistants” or teaching a large class with Assistants.


Large influx of new teachers. How do you train them? Give them the SLI Swim Instructor Training Workbook, online video supplement, finish their training with shadowing.


Shadowing lasts for a full class session. Stick with the same teacher and the same class for one full class (typically 3 weeks worth of lessons)


Main teacher dictates all activities, explains focus.

Main teacher does activity with each class member

Assistant does activity with each class member and reiterates/repeats what the main instructor said.


The shadow should take initiative and engage with the class mimicing what the


Co-Teach: switch off: not ideal not clear who is in charge. Not feasible for beginners: they don’t know what to do.

Too many cooks in the kitchen.


How long do you have someone shadow? What circumstances?


1 full class length, or 1 month.


When you have difficult swimmers, sometimes better to keep together than to split the class.


Returning instructor is the “Instructor” and new people are “assistants”

Instructor is in charge of writing the report cards.

How to keep track: binder that has every kid at every area. Testing stations:

Returning instructor is the “Instructor” and new people are “assistants”


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