Be the best swim instructor

Swim instructor in the water with three boys

When parents sign their children up for swimming lessons they expect a level of professionalism from the person teaching their child. So, how can you be the best swim instructor you can be? Here's some tips from us to help you stand out from the crowd and keep students and their parents keen to come back week after week!

Professional presentation

Remember, as a teacher you should appear responsible, efficient and cheerfully confident. Your ability to promote the importance of Swimming and Water Safety Education can be undermined if you appear too casual, timid or careless. The way you look and present yourself does influence the people you teach. Teachers should always wear the appropriate attire for teaching in the water (rash vest, appropriate swimwear, hat for outdoors etc.)

Supervision and constant observation

It is through effective observation that you can best assess the moods, attributes, needs and potential of both individuals and groups within your class. More importantly though you should be alert in and around the water to ensure a safe environment free from hazards. As a teacher you should be supervising all students for the entirety of the class and be the last person to exit the water once the class is finished. When conducting deep water or underwater skills supervision should be increased, especially with a large class size. 

Good organisational skills

Lesson planning and the selection and placement of suitable teaching, swimming and rescue aids should be completed before you start each lesson. It is important to remember lesson plans should be adapted to suit the class and individuals you are teaching if necessary. If you are fully prepared for the aquatic environment you're teaching in you can remain calm and efficient in all situations and conditions.

Ability to inspire confidence

Beginner students often lack confidence when in the water and are often not sure of what their abilities are. As a teacher you can inspire confidence by using positive reinforcement, managing the class confidently and giving correct and efficient assistance.

Maintaining class control

There are many factors that can contribute to your ability to maintain control of the class you're teaching. Class size, pool space, water depth, surrounding noise level, public and lack of equipment can all cause disruptions to the class. It is your job to prepare effectively and have the skills to maintain smooth flow of activity while communicating with students as both individuals and groups.


We know that teaching in the water can be draining and you may not feel at your best with every class, but it is important to remember that your students are only with you for a short time and many would have looked forward to their class all day! All students should be met with a lively, motivating, encouraging, enthusiastic teacher to guide them successfully in their aquatic experiences.

Why you should update your CPR skills.

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Research shows a person's skills in CPR decrease by 50% after just two months if they haven't practised the skill. Update your CPR certificate now!

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Great ideas for your next lesson!

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Check out the range of teaching manuals at our online shop!

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Looking for a new job? 

If you’re searching for a job in the WA aquatic recreation industry, the Royal Life Saving Job Board can help you find a position.

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