I got offered a new contract the other week at work which came as both a surprise and shock. The contract I was offered was for the Field Support Technician role that had been put out and advertised a month or two back and which, to be honest, I had never dreamed I would have stood a chance for and so didn’t apply for. I also didn’t think when it was offered that it would come about as quick as it seems to be doing – official start date will be in two weeks time.
Basically, the new role will involve being half a step up the support chain from where I am now, heading out to the sites affected to troubleshoot and fix problems locally. To little ol’ me it’s pretty exciting, more hands-on, but with a hell of a lot to learn.
I’m a little nervous about it, but also pretty keen to get the most out of it and take the opportunity to really try and sink my teeth into all the bits missing from my knowledge of the setup. It could definitely make for some interesting times.
Not much more to report there really I don’t think, but it should be fun.
End of an Instructor Era
I made a pretty drastic decision the other day. Well, I say drastic, to be honest it’s been on the horizon for a while and is in no way related to the previous topic.
At the end of this year I’m going to suspend my PADI Teaching Status as an Instructor and start to be Non-Teaching Status.
For those unaware as to what that means, the clue’s in the names. Basically I’ll cease to be able to actively teach scuba diving courses as the sole instructor. Which is a shame, as I do genuinely love the feeling of satisfaction that’s derived from teaching someone new skills. But it had to happen, and has to happen, for a number of reasons:
- I’m not actively teaching any more as it is, which means I lack confidence on the few times I do get the chance to teach and run portions of a class. This isn’t good for me, as it makes me feel incompetent, and doesn’t help the students, who aren’t getting the best education they could – and should – be getting.
- I’m not, realistically, going to start teaching more frequently any time soon because, quite simply, I don’t have the time to do that and be able to do all the other things I want to be doing. This is more closely related to the new job scenario, as there’s plenty to do and a ton to learn which means, when it comes to time off, such as weekends and the like, I want to be making the most of it, whether that be heading off out to see friends, visit different places, spend some time playing EvE, or simply diving for my own pleasure and to increase my own diving experiences. it’s no secret that I’ve barely done any Mixed Gas diving since returning from Egypt, nor have I managed to really hammer myself in training scenarios to improve my own skills. With part-time teaching, I don’t have that capability and, by the same token, I don’t do it often enough to improve my teaching either – it’s lose-lose.
- It costs. Many of us know the old jokes (PADI: Put Another Dollar In, etc.) which, whilst I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, is true – being an active member of PADI does cost (shock! Horror!) and, whilst it will also cost me to remain a member at a Non-Teaching Status level, it won’t cost anywhere near as much, and I don’t have to also cover Professional Liability insurance to the same level. Whilst those costs at the moment aren’t exactly crippling, there’s no point me paying them if I’m not getting the use out of them. I’d be better off putting that money saved towards gas, or equipment maintenance.
- I can still partake and learn by helping out with courses as an assistant without being in Teaching Status – which basically means, should I reach a point where I feel I have the time and commitment to be able to start teaching again, I can get myself back into it gradually, putting the time in to help with courses and learning from those other instructors around me that have served as role models for so much of my time diving. The important thing is that I don’t have to be put in the pressure situation of already being Teaching Status whilst trying to learn this.
And those are about all I can think of right now. It’s a shame, in many ways, because I do genuinely enjoy teaching, but I also loathe the feeling of inadequacy I get from knowing I’m not providing the best teaching experience I possible can, purely because I lack practice and confidence. It ain’t fun.
Anyway, that’s that said.