Ericka has been a swimming teacher at Tonbridge Swimming Pool since 2016. Both her children attended swimming lessons there when she was approached and asked if she would like to become a swimming assistant. She really enjoyed it and so decided to put herself through the Level 2 teacher training to become a fully qualified swimming teacher.
Ericka is a part-time swimming teacher and her main job is Customer Service Manager with a Supermarket chain. As we all know the supermarkets were very busy at the start and throughout the pandemic, and so Ericka had to focus her attention on her main job, ”feeding the nation safely” which she said was tough and frightening at times.
But, she was sad that she had to give up teaching her lessons during this time,
“I was working all the way through [lockdown] and had to give up my loved swimming lessons as I couldn’t commit to them both.
It was so hard to walk away from the lessons that I loved and the children I loved seeing improve each week. I missed that terribly but I know it was for the best at the time.”
Since pools reopened on 12 April Ericka has been able to get back to what she loves, teaching swimming.
“The amazing things about kids are that they adapt. They just want to be back in the water…once they are in the water it’s just teaching as normal and you can almost forget there is a pandemic going on outside the pool!”
Ericka’s swim school provided covid training for all the teachers and put on an induction course so that everyone was comfortable with the covid rules and restrictions in the centre.
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She shares why she enjoys teaching so much,
“What I love about teaching is that one moment in the person’s lesson. That light bulb, that one fear barrier conquered, the sheer joy that they can achieve something. This can’t be bought from Amazon with a couple of clicks, this takes guts and challenge and will power to achieve your goal. I love being part of this. They have to show themselves they CAN do it and it’s amazing. It’s that reward that is addictive. That small reward for us both is huge.”
She highly recommends it as a career,
“I would say to anyone interested in swimming, teaching and children this is a wonderful place to be.”
Ericka is now planning to leave the world of retail and make swim teaching her full-time career,
“I can’t think of a more rewarding career than teaching a person to swim and giving them a life skill they will use forever.”