Maybe it’s because we were at Aquabliss Frensham to catch up with Liz while she was finishing teaching a class of cute little preschoolers that were just all so adorable!
Or maybe it was because you can tell Liz really loves what she’s doing.
Maybe it was the chilled atmosphere of the parents watching, knowing their kids were in safe hands…. whatever it was, when we walked into the Learn to Swim school at Aquabliss, it made us want to sign up to become a swim teacher!
Liz has been with Aquabliss Frensham since 2016, when she stepped completely away from her previous career and skillset to become a Swimming Instructor.
Seven years later, she’s now Pool Deck Supervisor and has taught hundreds of children and adults to become more skilled and confident in the water.
It is. I got a degree in Economics and Management in the UK and worked in a leadership role at a consulting firm before I moved to the Highlands.
I’d always enjoyed working with kids. When I was younger, I would go and do stints at Camp America in the summer camps in the States, and I really enjoyed that.
After I had our youngest son here in the Highlands, I was a stay-at-home mum for a while but was looking to do something while he was in preschool, so I started training here in 2015, became qualified and started working at Aquabliss Frensham in 2016.
I’ve been here ever since.
No, never… I’ve always loved the water and being in and around it, but I was never a serious swimmer.
That’s what I liked about the opportunity to become a swim teacher.
You didn’t have to have that sort of background. You can transition from an office job or being a stay-at-home mum like I did, with the support of Aquabliss and training.
Initially, I did a few mornings a week which was fantastic for fitting in and around family commitments and the kids.
As my youngest got older, I picked up a few more shifts and taught a number of different ages, from toddlers to teens to adults, gaining more qualifications around those areas.
I progressed into the role of Pool Deck Supervisor, which means I’m spending more time assessing the children in the classes, working out what milestones they’re achieving or what they need to work on to move up to the next level.
I communicate with the parents and also the other swim teachers, giving feedback about their performance or chatting about the children and what we need to do to help the kids improve.
I’m still in the pool, though!
I teach on Friday mornings and do a coaching shift on Tuesday afternoon. It’s important to keep practicing and learning, and I do love what I do too.
If you’ve got a passion for swimming, working with people – especially children – and you’re looking for work that can fit in around your life, whether that be family, other work, uni or another job, it’s ideal.
Start with the first qualification, which is the basic Learn to Swim qualification and take it from there.
If you start working with Aquabliss while you’re training, currently they reimburse the cost of your qualification after a set period, and you get paid for your training hours too.
It’s a great way to earn and learn.
It’s not just that. Aquabliss Frensham is a great place to work.
You can feel it when you first walk in. It’s a great environment.
The teachers are happy and enjoying what they’re doing, so the kids and parents are happy too.
Everyone here is really passionate about their job.
They want to be here. They want to be in the water. They want to see the students’ progress. It’s very rewarding.
I’m now coaching kids in the main pool who, several years ago, I taught in the Learn to Swim pool.
It’s funny when I see families out and about shopping, and the little kids get confused as to why I’m not all wet and in the pool.
They seem to think I live in the pool, so they are shocked when they see me at the supermarket!
But one of the most important reasons I do what I do [and its why most of the teachers here are in the job too] is because we’re teaching people a really important life skill.
A skill that they may have to call on to save their own life – or someone else’s.
One of our teachers recently told me about a student of theirs who fell into a pool while the family was at a friends’ place.
He immediately turned around and got himself out. He was fine. And that’s because of the important skills we teach, especially to the little ones.
Saving themselves becomes second nature.
That’s the most rewarding part.
And of course, there’s the fun stuff too…. a baby covered his ears while I was singing in the pool, which caused us all to have a good laugh.
The preschoolers sing a song at the end of their class before they jump in the water and turn back around to get to the edge, and they get to make up whatever they would like to sing about. They sing about the funniest things. One preschooler started singing about eyeballs! That age is so much fun.
I’m going to list these as they’re all really important points:
I enjoy seeing the preschoolers’ happy faces in the water and splashing around with babies and their carers, laughing and singing songs together.
Watching the progression of children is fantastic. I’ve had children who were three when they started with me, and now they’re swimming 50 metres at our Dolphin level.
Working with the parents and receiving positive feedback and gratitude from them. It really feels like a team effort when we’re all working towards giving the kids these vital life skills – I love being part of that team.
It really is a fun, challenging and rewarding job that makes a meaningful difference.
Amazing, thank you so much, Liz!