Fun, Timid, Stubborn, Analytical: How your child's personality affects their lesson
Something that has forever changed our program and has made us stand out from all of the other swim schools, is Personality Profiling.
Your child is unique, they are there own little person, and while some have BIG personalities and others are more soft spoken, we believe that impacts how they will learn and progress during swimming lessons. If you haven't ordered a copy of Carol Tuttles, The Child Whisperer, (linked here) I highly recommend it. Here is a little break down to help you understand and plan for their lessons!
Type 1, The Fun-Loving Child
These kids are our happy go lucky, social, spontaneous, and bouncy students! They are full of ideas and will talk your ear off with all they want to do. Because they are so excited about life in general its important to make their lessons just as exciting and fun! If things get too serious they won't do as well and you will see a plateau in their progress. They get distracted very easily so they still need an instructor that can keep them on track. Its a balancing act for us teachers. We have to make sure they are staying on track with their lesson plans but also enjoying what they are doing. For me personally I find that my Type 1 students do best with rewards. So many of them ask to do a trick after they complete a skill. Its quick so I don't feel like we are playing the whole lesson and they work harder because they want to earn that reward!
Type 2, The Sensitive Child
These children are very easy going, soft spoken, they have a calmness about them. But they are very emotional. Usually when beginning something new they are going to have a hard time, and there will be a lot of tears. Its so important that you stick with just one teacher because we want to establish a bond very quickly with them! Its also best for the first few lessons you hide. If they see you during their lesson they naturally are going to want you, that doesn't help us build a trust and relationship as their teachers. These kids require a lot of attention, so they feel comfortable and safe in the pool. They should never be rushed, so I recommend getting here early, letting them watch a few minutes of another lesson and talk them through what they are going to be working on. You should also plan on not rushing their progress. One student may be floating by their second lesson, but your Type 2 child may need 15 lessons to begin floating independently. My son Dash is a Type 2, so when it came time to start his lessons I dropped him off and then watched his lesson out the window. He has done about 40 lesson and still cries getting into the pool, even though at this point he is floating like a champ AND we swim all the time! So don't feel frustrated if your child's progress is slow, its just how they roll.
Type 3, The Determined Child
"My child is fearless!" If you have ever said these words, congratulations, you probably have a Type 3. They are independent, feisty, busy, adventurous, and self motivated. Because of this your child is one of the hardest to work with, however they are my personal favorite, because I'm stubborn too! I like the challenges that come with working with a Type 3. Even though they yell and scream at me for a while, they become some of my best swimmers because they are so determined. The trick with these kids, and this sounds kinda bad, but they need some tough love! They try to be the boss of the lesson and until you set those boundaries as an instructor your not going to get far. Usually these kids need a few 40 minute lessons because they need to get tired before they will give up fighting you on why they don't want to do something. I recommend stopping by the park before lessons or come right before nap time so they are physically tired, I promise they will swim better in this state! They are fast learners if they have a teacher that pushes them to be their best!
Type 4, The More Serious Child
These kids are very intellectual, straightforward, exact, they like routines, numbers and rules. Structure is very important in order to help them progress. Plan on a set swim schedule and with the same teacher. These children seem wise for their age because they have a respect for the serious things in life. From a teacher standpoint my students that are a Type 4 have the lesson plan memorized very quickly. They ask me how many more do they need to do. Its important that your child gets all the details, most children learn by doing but your Type 2 needs more than that, so we talk them through every skill. Like a Type 2, change is not great for your child. Once you find an instructor that works well with your child, I'd recommend only scheduling with them. A tip for you, talk to them in detail about what they are working on, "Remember Mrs. Alliesha wants you to look at her toes when you swim, you also need to blow bubbles like we practiced in the bath tub" Its all in the details for our Type 4s.
All of us have a dominant personality type and then a secondary, knowing your child's will help your instructor understand their individual needs. So when working with a new instructor, let them know which personality type they are! After all, you know your child best!