Instructors Creed or Super Power or Both?

instructors creedThe instructors creed something every new instructor sees it, usually right after they pass the instructors exam. We have had many opportunities over the last years to see it play out. And this last weekend as we finished prepping another candidate for the exam I got to listen to a slightly different version of the instructors creed.

Course Director Kelly was talking about “our super power”.  Now, I know you are thinking like some sort of Marvel comic books super hero. But, when you think about we do have a “super power”.



As a scuba instructor, I have the opportunity to see:

  • Fear change to courage
  • Faint-heartedness converted into accomplishment
  • Timidity transformed into confidence

As a scuba instructor, I can:

  • Open hearts and mindsto the hidden beauty of nature’s creation and our obligation to protect it
  • Foster self-esteemin another person
  • Teach thevalue of character and integrity
  • Transformanother human being and change a life for the better and forever

Plus, we get to teach people how to become fish and breathe underwater.  Pretty cool “super power” when you stop and think about it.

The first section of the instructors creed alone is a special moment. Many times we have had a student that starts with a discover scuba session and they think they can’t do it. Too claustrophobic or want ever. Then, they think maybe it isn’t that bad. Next thing they are in a full class. Still struggling a little, but you can see they are determined. Then that darn mask skill comes up.  Somehow, someway they get that silly thing cleared of water. And again and yet they do it again. Still not liking that skill, but accepting it. More practice. Getting easier, but yet still. Then the magic happens. They find a way that works for them. BOOM! But they still don’t like it, but they got it. Now they are now sneaking off to the corner of the pool to practice some more. They don’t want us to see. But we do. We just watch, knowing that confidence is growing in them. The instructors creed is happening all over again.

Yep, maybe just maybe Course Director Kelly is right. We do have a “super power”

Instructors Creed or Instructors Manual

instructors creedAs I have written a few times before the instructors creed is an awesome thing and the fun little thing is I get to see it happen almost every weekend? Overcoming fear, turning “I cant” into “I can”. Turning bad into fun and wonderful. But I see and hear so many instructors that are bent into one way to do a skill and that is just not fair or right. There is no where in the instructor manual that tells us how a student must perform the skill other than they must have “mastery” of said skill. I take that to mean the student must be able to do the skill in a manner that they can repeat comfortably and again and again. There is also no place in the instructor creed or manual that states a student must enjoy the skill and we all know that some skills are just not the most fun anyway.

So if I marry the instructors creed with the instructor manual on say mask clearing, what methods do I come up with to teach? Well there are so many ways. First we have our traditional way. That is you have no issues and water maybe up your nose doesn’t bug you and you just simply exhale out your nose and mask is cleared. But if you have the once in awhile thought to breathe in your nose and snort some pool water this little skill will drive you crazy. So, while it isn’t “text book”, but if you have the urge and need to hold your nose while you take your mask off and even flood it, that is ok. You will need to let go of your nose at some point, but if that is what it takes for you to get the timing down so you can clear that mask, ok with me.

The instructors creed guides me to allow you to hold your nose. The instructor manual allows me to let you do this also. So I tell you I don’t care if you need to hold your nose because to put your mask back on you have to let go of your nose. You relax and next thing you know you are removing and clearing your mask, heck you might not even be holding your nose. The instructor  creed and instructor manual allow for what ever the student can do time and time again to be a safe diver.  If I have imparted this to you my student and fellow diver then I am happy and have hopefully lived and seen the instructor creed come to life.

Living the instructor’s creed

instructor's creedLast week Jessica wrote a great post about her scuba adventure on her way to becoming a PADI scuba instructor and just how true the instructor’s creed is to all of us.  We have been able to watch her grow from “unsure” to “confident”. I think she spoke well on how she has become an important part in the transformation that students undergo as they are begging their own scuba adventure and how she is already starting to live the instructor’s creed.

As we prepare for our next PADI “GO PRO” night, which is scheduled for October 8 at 6 pm, I think this is a good time to look at the instructor’s creed once again.

AS an Open Water Scuba Instructor I have the opportunity to see

  • Fear change to courage
  • Faint of heart  change to courage
  • Timidity change to courage

As an Open Water Scuba Instructor, I can

  • Open hearts and minds to the hidden beauty of nature’s creation and our obligation to protect it
  • Foster self esteem in another person
  • Teach the value of character and integrity
  • Transform another human being and change a life for the better

Jessica-Martinez-BurkeyIf we go back and read Jessica’s post you can see the instructor’s creed at work in her adventure.  We see it almost on a monthly basis in our Open Water classes and I saw it again on Monday at Colorado Mesa University as this semester’s students took their first breathes under water.  Yesterday, was these same students “field trip” to the shop so they can see and touch all the different types of gear, but what made the “field trip” so fun was the questions they had about becoming an instructor or maybe an underwater welder or even public safety diving.

You can see the instructor’s creed at work and all we have to do is show them how to breathe underwater.

Mark your calendar for our next PADI “Go Pro” Night and begin your journey to living the instructor’s creed.ok