Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Swim Fan

We were big fans of Danny, Yaks' swim teacher this summer. The older I get, the more grateful I become for great teachers who go the extra mile and just CARE about the kids they teach. Danny is a teacher like that. As far as I know, he's only a high school kid, but I have been so impressed with how professionally he conducted himself.

Each class session, he would welcome the kids by name with a huge smile. Danny is enthusiastic, positive and a great teacher. He had so many great and fun ways to teach the kids. Most importantly, the kids love him and hang on his every word.

"Torpedo Arms"

He taught the kids to "scoop" the water like ice cream. "Do we scoop with forks or spoons?" "Spoons!" (hands in cupped shape). BRILLIANT! Then they got to practice swim kicks with the "marshmallow stick"(stick with foam floats on either side), go under the water to catch the "number of the day" and "letter of the day" (weighted letters and numbers), or a shark or fish.

Practicing with the "Marshmallow Stick"

Following the class, Danny hops out of the pool and comes over to each parent and tells them what they did that day, what the child did really well, and what they need to work on (all the while with an enormous smile on his face). Then he says goodbye to the student and preps for his next class. Remarkable.

It was fun to go through the class next to the other moms, who all had high h0pes for their kids to become more comfortable in the water. One little girl was terrified to put her head under the water. She would sob and panic leading up to her turn to go under and then cry inconsolable tears afterwards. One session the kids had to jump into the pool to Danny. Danny patiently waited and encouraged. All of us parents were biting our nails. The first day was traumatic, and she never did end up jumping in. But, the next time around (after a major pep talk from her mom), she did it! We all cheered, and I actually started crying. It was a huge win for her. Thanks to fantastic teachers who make it all possible.

Last night we went to meet Boo's Kindergarten teacher. Her room was clean, organized and inviting. I'm trying really hard to not be the typical clingy, emotional, hovering Kindergarten mom we used to make fun of as 5th and 6th grade teachers. As we walked around the room looking at the various areas, I started feeling more calm and even excited for Boo and this new adventure. Now I GET it. Perhaps this "meet the teacher night" was more for the anxious parents than for their anxious children!?

Whatever it is, I'm grateful for GREAT teachers.

1 comment:

Mary Jane said...

I'm glad for great teachers, too. I'll meet Anna's kindergarten teacher tomorrow and really like Caroline's 2nd grade teacher so far. It's hard to let them go to anyone less than wonderful.