One of our lovely teachers, Sarah Burke, from the Coventry, Warwickshire and Worcestershire area, shares her experience of the special relationships built whilst working as a Turtle Tots teacher.
Working as a Turtle Tots teacher, there is so much I love about my job, but one of the most rewarding is the relationships that develop.
Firstly, of course, is the wonderful relationship between the little Turtles and the people who bring them swimming. This might be mum or dad, or sometimes a grandparent or other family member. Swimming is a wonderful bonding activity - with no outside distractions it's a time for you to really focus on each other. My little boy goes swimming with daddy, and they both love that this is their special time together every week.
Secondly, there is the relationship between me and the parents/ grandparents in my class. It is great to see the trust develop as I gently guide them and show them what their wonderful babies can do. Maybe it's the first underwater swim, or first time on the catamarans, or maybe it is when their little one jumps in on their own for the first time - I will sometimes get a look that says "Really? Well, okay then...." And of course those clever little babies show just how amazing they are! It's a two-way process of course, and those parents can tell me if their little one has been awake all night with teething, or is going through a clingy phase. We work together to make sure each Turtle is getting just what they need from the class.
Finally, of course, there is the relationship between me and each little Turtle I teach. They learn to trust me in the pool and I follow their progress with huge pride. As I say hello I'm so often greeted with a huge smile - that's right, we're going swimming and it's going to be fun! (Don't tell anyone, but I'm having just as much fun as you are!)