It's difficult to measure the outcome of these courses. You can't just say he or she got certified. The certification shouldn't be and isn't the most valuable piece of these workshops. It's really about improving skill, learning new teaching methods and becoming better instructors for our future students. Candidates dial-in their personal skills as much as possible. They practice with coaching models, they learn and review safety & leadership. They gain awareness and become safer, stronger paddlers. Hopefully they leave the course inspired and stoked for more.
I get better at delivering these courses each time, but I still ask myself 'were we safe?' 'Did we improve our measurable performance?' 'Did we have fun?' 'Was it valuable to the candidates?' 'What could I have done better?' Yes, yes, yes & hmmm. That's the question - what could I have done better? After every course I run, lesson I give or trip I lead, I'm immediately reflecting on the experience and taking notes on what worked, what didn't work, what will I change next time, what could I have done better.
We have a new group of ACA certified SUP Instructors in the US and I'm pretty certain everyone left the course with new paddling friends and a renewed appreciation for the SUP community. That makes me feel pretty good, even though there are lots of things I'll do better next time.
Thank you Mitch for assisting, thank you Tim of Try Standup for assisting and thank you Jen of Aqua Adventures for hosting the course. Fun times!
|Chris, Alex, Matt, Paul, Erin, Tara, Dylan, Mitch, Tim & Wendy. photo by Erin O'Malley.|