Jackrabbit Tips & Tricks

Dealing with Increased Swim Class Size

There is always in an increase in numbers at the beginning of the season and that means classes must accommodate more students. These increases change the dynamics of classes and make your job a little more challenging.  Especially since you’re trying to ensure that everyone is receiving equal attention and maximum practice time during lessons.

We’re sharing several tips that will help you get your season off to a great start.

Revise rules and expectations

If you’ve been looking for the perfect time to revise class rules and set expectations with you classes – now is the time! Your students need to learn to look and listen while you’re talking.

  • Use simple instructions and key words or they will get easily bored and lose focus.
  • Instill rules and expectations that the students can actually meet and be upfront with them about the consequences of not following the rules.
  • Never act mean or yell at students. Be consistent with expectations and follow through with consequences (this will set the stage for future lessons.)
  • Always use positive praise for good work.

Teach children to circle the lane

This is an important thing for children to learn. It helps you to ensure maximum practice time for all swimmers during the lesson and helps children to work together by encouraging each other to move over and take their turn. Use markers so that students know where to go at all times and wave formation. Students won’t have to wait for you to say “go.” Formations, such as wave formations and circuits can also help move the group along.

Give students variety to help them avoid boredom by mixing up the teaching formations. Active children are well behaved children because they don’t have time to get distracted and cause disruptions.

Revise your program or lesson plan

Make sure that your program can meet the abilities and the needs of the new and existing students. Even when students are grouped according to their ability level, there will still be slight variations on how they perform certain skills. Lesson planning is the best way to ensure that you are providing the best possible lesson to all swimmers in your classes. Once you get to know your class you will likely need to make adjustments to a lesson plan or program that was made previously. If you think of lesson planning as more of a guide that needs constant review and reflection, you will be open to more flexibility and adaptability to the situations that may result from your increased class sizes.

Assess your swimmers

This is also the perfect time to move students to a class that may suit them better at their present skills level s. It’s very common for students to need changes according to such identifiers as challenges, progress and style. Moving students to more suitable classes helps their learning as it helps your teaching. Communicating with administration or deck supervisors is essential as is speaking to parents before even arranging class changes. This communication can save everyone from being frustrated or embarrassed.

It’s also important to talk with all parents about water safety to ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest techniques for keeping everyone safe around water. Also make sure that they understand how much “between lesson” water activities and skills practice can speed their learning process .

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