“I come from a swimming family. My mum and both my grandparents were swimming coaches. I literally grew up by the pool. I learnt to swim and went on to compete for my County at the Welsh and British Masters. I love being part of the swimming community and have made many friends through my hobby.”
Chloe was 13 when she started helping out at her swimming club and in 2016, when she was just 16, she completed an Assistant Coach course. She went on to get her SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) Qualification in August 2017 and then her SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teaching Qualification in August 2018. She’s also completed CPD’s in supporting people with special educational needs.
“I started assisting the swimming teachers when I was 16 and even used my experience as a module for my GSCE in PE. When I was 18 I started leading my own swimming lessons – working about eight hours a week one afternoon after school and on a Saturday morning. Being a swimming teacher and studying for A Levels are incredibly complementary. I was earning considerably more than my other friends, whilst working less hours, meaning I could spend more time studying or being with my friends and family. The shifts are very flexible too and my team leaders have always been very understanding and considerate of my exams and assignment deadlines.
“I especially enjoy working with children and young people with special needs, and undertake a lot of 1:2:1 sessions for this group. I find these sessions particularly rewarding. It took two months just to get one child into the pool. However, my patience and my skills paid off and I’m so thrilled when progress is made. Being a swimming teacher gave me my first real experience of teaching and working with young people with special educational needs and since completing my A-Levels I have gone on to start a degree at Plymouth Marjon University in Special Needs Education.
“Whilst at University I work as a swimming teacher for a Swim School where lessons run term time only. Then, when I go home, I pick up holiday lessons and intensive ‘summer school’ lessons.
“I also work in a respite centre for children with special needs and am a personal care assistant to a family with children with special needs too. When I complete my degree I will do my PGCE in special needs – and plan to do this as my career. However, I still want to continue with my swimming teaching – partly due to the huge waiting lists for children with special needs to learn to swim, but also because it will help to top up my salary and help to pay off student debts.
“Being a swimming teacher, and especially a swimming teacher working with people with disabilities, has really opened my eyes to my passion and my future career – and given me the confidence and experience to follow this dream”.
Find out how to become a swimming teacher.