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Power

You really do have the power over your students' introduction to diving. Basically, you can engineer one of two outcomes for each dive class. Let's use the basic Open Water Diver class as an example.

Scenario #1: You really don't want to teach this community college class, but you need the money. You'd much rather be teaching rich tourists in Belize, but you couldn't line up that gig, so here you are. You present the required material, more or less reading it and using PowerPoints. You've seen some students nodding off, but that's not your problem.

When it comes time for water work, you demonstrate the required skills and watch as each student shows they can also perform them. Then you move on to the next phase. In short, you present the material, but you sure can't be called a teacher.

Scenario #2: You can't get enough of anything related to diving. You're excited to have the chance to introduce new students to your passion, to show them a slide show of spectacular coral reefs and wall drop-offs, and to share the excitement you feel whenever you slip under the waves. For the classroom work, you jazz up the cut-and-dried concepts by providing real-life examples. In the water, you make a game of each skill, conjuring up a reward when the entire class knocks it out. You can feel the students' sense of accomplishment, their “aha!” moment when they connect all the dots. You've planned a special party to celebrate the students' certification dives.

Which SCUBA instructor would you like to be?

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