Emily, 20, from Somerset, became a swimming teacher to part-fund her studies. She’s since found it to be a rewarding and worthwhile job that will help in her pursuit to become a primary school teacher.
“My mum used to be a swimming teacher and that gave me the idea that I too could do the training. Whilst working poolside as a lifeguard, I’d look over to the swimming teachers and think, I could do that! I’m a good swimmer, but not a club swimmer, I just learnt to swim through the normal pathway, but that’s ok, you don’t need to be an elite swimmer to teach it.”
Emily completed her SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) qualification in October 2019 during her A ‘Levels, and started working assisting other swimming teachers after her school day. She started a maths degree, but decided the course wasn’t for her and dropped out. During the gap year between reapplying for a different course, she completed her SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teaching Course, and started teaching immediately.
“There was such a demand for swimming teachers that during my gap year I could virtually pick and choose the days/hours I worked. I was teaching between 25-30 hours a week in the afternoons and at the weekends. It was such a pleasure to have a job where I was valued, respected and also able to give something back to my local community. I love supporting the children in their learn to swim journey; it’s wonderful to watch a child’s skills and confidence grow.”
“It’s very easy to pick up swimming teaching work. I was working out of four leisure centres/pools. I was well paid and always made to feel like an important part of the aquatics team. I have made a lot of friends through teaching swimming too. I’m so grateful the children’s parents trust me – it makes me feel very proud.
“Being a swimming teacher means you can easily fit the work around your school work and studies. There are no late nights and the environment is incredibly safe and unthreatening.”
Emily went on to start a degree in Education with Psychology at the University of Bath. She says:
“I can’t wait to become a school teacher, and I know that my swimming teaching will help me with my chosen career. I already use techniques that I am learning in my degree poolside, and I know that my job applications will be looked on favourably because of my swimming teacher experience and qualifications. Not only can I support schools with their National Curriculum swim outcomes , but it also demonstrates my practical experience of working and coaching young people.
“I’m in the second year of my degree now and at the weekends, because I live locally, I go home and continue teaching swimming on Sunday mornings, helping to part fund my studies. However, if I wanted to there are swimming teaching opportunities closer to my university.”
Emily goes on to explain:
“Even, when I am qualified and working as a primary school teacher, my plan is to supplement my income by teaching intensive courses during school holidays and possibly weekends too. Becoming a swimming teacher was originally about earning some money. In reality, not only has it supported my income and studies, but it has also been fundamental in my personal development and future career.”
Find out how to become a swimming teacher.