Whilst every course is fun to teach and each has its own highlights, merits and rewards, every instructor has one course that they love to teach. For most its Open Water, since it is so rewarding to introduce people to the underwater world and show them some of the amazing 70% of our planet that is so rarely visited and so little explored or understood. Especially when we have such a beautiful protected tropical reef right on our doorstep.
Discovery dives can be rewarding too for exactly the same reason, but for me they take the edge off since you have such a limited time to get new divers comfortable before taking them on the dive and it can detract from the experience for some. It is also a little more stressful for the instructor to have, sometimes up to four (at some dive centers), people with no real understanding or experience to look after and keep safe underwater.
Advanced courses are super easy to teach since you already have certified divers who understand the basics and you are giving them additional information and knowledge to round out the corners that the Open Water didn’t cover. So they can be really fun to teach with low stress and maximum dive to study ratio.
Rescue is the course that all divers remember, and it is a whole lot of fun to teach because you can have a little fun with your students putting them into situations they have never before experienced and “giving a little stress back” to see how they can cope with a few of the things that you deal with on a daily basis.
Teaching Dive-master courses is a huge amount of fun and extremely rewarding but is more of a program than a course, especially here at Pro Dive Roatan where we do not take a formulaic approach, and spend a LOT more time on this course, and it can last into months until the student is truly ready to join the professional ranks.
Specialty courses are for me the most enjoyable. The reason for that is that with a specialty course you can get into detail about a specific part of diving and really get the student a true understanding of the subject and a mastery of the skills and planning process.
Peak Performance Buoyancy (PADI) or Perfect Buoyancy (SSI)
My favorite specialty to teach is Peak Performance Buoyancy (PADI) or Perfect Buoyancy (SSI). The reason for me is one its a whole lot of fun! There is no right or wrong, its just a series of games played on a sand patch that are designed to hone your buoyancy skills, your trim and your fin kicks and efficiency in the water.
Every diver should take this course. The things that you learn you will be practicing for the rest of your diving life. You will constantly improve – extremely quickly at first and then little by little gradually working towards perfection that can never be achieved. It’s like an exponential curve where you can approach the objective but just never quite reach it. But to be able to spend a couple of hours focused on what we call “the keys to diving” and then see the impact that it has on a diver and the length of dives they can then achieve is amazing.
It is so rewarding to be able to teach what, to me, is the only course that actually teaches a real diving skill. Not to cover an emergency situation or to handle a different circumstance or objective, but just to work on pure diving form and technique. It should be required for Advanced status in my opinion – and IS if you take the course at Pro Dive Roatan, because until you know how to DIVE there is little point in learning how to say Deep Dive!
I’m from Dundee, Scotland and have been diving for over 22 years. If there’s anything else you need to know, just ask!