To expect my dd's swimming teacher to listen to my views??

(58 Posts)
Squiffie Sat 12-Jan-13 17:22:52

DD started swimming lessons last week. I had concerns about her wearing armbands/rings as she's 2 and quite tiny even the 'flat' rings take up half her arm and don't really stay on! The teacher was fab - she said as I was in the water with her there was no need for bands and offers use of a noodle/woggle which dd loved!

Anyway this week we had an arrogant male teacher (who apparently is her actual teacher) who I insisted she wear the armbands or else I could find her another lesson to attend! I tried to explain that the previous week she had not had them and he refused to budge on the matter (dh was in the water so gave in) and basically said it was his way or not at all! He said he needed to wear the armbands because he had more control that way, although not entirely sure what he meant by that :/

Am I being unreasonable to expect my dd (and every child in the class - 6 of them) to be treated as individuals according to their needs rather than what the swimming teacher needs?

In my experience armbands restrict movement in the water, so YANBU to question these methods.
DS has been going to swimming classes since he was 5 months old and proper lessons since he was 1 year - and they DO learn through songs and games. Rhythm is hugely important in swimming and this is the best way to teach that kind of control. Also - it should be fun!
I don't know what to suggest - the teacher should explain his reasons to you and if you are still unhappy, I guess you have to leave and find a class that better suits your expectations.
And to the posters who don't see the point in lessons - my DS is 3.5 and can swim a length of the pool unaided. He has two lessons a week, which he loves, and we also go socially once a week, where we play. His confidence in water is fantastic, and he swims using proper techniques, which are only going to help him as he gets older.
It's not for everyone, but there are lots of reasons to do it. smile

Bobyan Sun 13-Jan-13 18:30:19

Why don't' you ask your son's teacher to teach your children privately if it's that much of an issue to you?

Floggingmolly Sun 13-Jan-13 17:25:22

Why don't you just pay for private lessons, if you want the class tailored to your requirements?

marquesas Sun 13-Jan-13 17:04:33

Where are the lessons - at a council run leisure centre or a private facility? I've been to under 3 swimming classes in two different council areas and both were games and songs as you expected, neither used armbands and nor do any other pools I've been to with older children.

I'd be thinking hard about an alternative venue - the lessons for older children won't differ much whereever you go.

MerylStrop Sun 13-Jan-13 16:57:33

I think you are the arrogant one here.

It's his class, and he doesn't have to adapt it to suit you (and everyone else who fancies a different permutation). It's your prerogative as the paying customer to choose a different class.

Unless he was actually intimidating/offensive (as opposed to brisk as you might be when trying to begin a class promptly for other paying customers) a complaint is possibly both spiteful and futile.

sameoldlovebunny Sat 12-Jan-13 22:38:26

if you don't like the way they teach, find somewhere else.

DonderandBlitzen Sat 12-Jan-13 22:13:02

I've found swimming teachers quite unbending about not making allowances for individuals. In my case I asked if i could get in with my daughter initially or if she could wear armbands initially, as she was scared of going in without me/armbands. The swimming teacher said no to both, but they have to be like that. They have to insist that people all do things their way, because they are responsible for children's safety in the water. They can't have each child doing something different as it would be harder to organise the lesson. You just have to accept it or find another lesson.

mercibucket Sat 12-Jan-13 22:10:25

All the swim schools here use arm rings - apart from those for babies eg waterbabies
In all honesty it sounds like a mountain out of a molehill but certainly move to another class.

maddening Sat 12-Jan-13 21:59:12

Puddleducks do lessons through every age group and don't do arm bands. Although at 2 they are still in the pool with you.

ahmnoclassyladybut Sat 12-Jan-13 21:52:30

I taught first one to swim by taking them to swimming lessons from around that age.

Second one came along and tbh I couldn't face it all again, I wish I had though because he goes once a week for a term a year with school and swims like a brick while the other swims, well not like a fish but at least like pumice stone (I think that floats)

3littlefrogs Sat 12-Jan-13 21:45:14

Sorry - I couldn't get past the idea of someone paying for swimming lessons for a 2 year old......................

Squiffie Sat 12-Jan-13 21:43:31

It wasn't his first unsupervised lesson - he's not a young lad with lots to learn - he's an arrogant man who refused to discuss possible alternatives. I'm writing a letter of complaint about his attitude, not his teaching method. A letter that will also include praise of other members of staff who were much friendlier and far more willing to meet the needs of the individuals in their class. If he doesn't want to be complained about then perhaps he should think twice about speaking to customers like dirt.

I actually went to the first lesson with an open mind. DS has never used armbands and never will but I was open to the fact that dd may well be required to wear armbands. However the 2 teachers I encountered the first week were amazing - friendly, encouraging, adaptable and made me feel at ease - complete contrast the the stubborn, arrogant man I met today.

I'm not asking him to do anything difficult, I'm just asking for my dd not to be forced to wear armbands that are clearly too big and completely unsuitable!

Happymum22 Sat 12-Jan-13 20:55:51

Oh just saw DC is 2, scrap my post.
At this age swimming is about confidence building, not learning to swim properly. Physically they will really struggle to learn at that age.
YANBU to expect games, songs etc. but if your not happy just go elsewhere, take them yourself occasionally and when they are an appropriate age then find proper swimming lessons.

Happymum22 Sat 12-Jan-13 20:52:25

I've taught swimming before.
Every teacher has their own opinion and way of teaching, they get the best from children from their method. All children are different though and I hope he will assess your DD and whether arm bands are best practice.

On my course I was told armbands restrict movement in the arms and so not good for more than very initial stages/ on a beach/ on holiday.

I personally can't rate the woggle highly enough- it really is, for me, the way to get results.

See how your DC progresses with this guy, go with an open mind and SHOW the teacher (and your DC) you are supportive (even if inside your head you aren't 100%) and positive, say thanks at the end to show your DC how much your respect the teacher. Then see how things are, if neccesary move your DC.

theleanandhungrytype Sat 12-Jan-13 20:43:19

what casserole said

His attitude may stink, you're isn't looking great with formal letters of complaint to be honest. What if it was his first ever unsupervised lesson or something? But no, just because he didn't do what some parent said, fire up the complaint letters.

What are teachers supposed to do if each parent comes up to him with their own ideas of how the class should be run!

Portofino Sat 12-Jan-13 20:42:27

No songs? What do songs have to do with swimming?

MerylStrop Sat 12-Jan-13 20:39:50

Oh yeah that's great, make the bloke's life more difficult because he doesn't teach the class the way you want it taught.

Really, you should just find a class that suits you.

rollmopses Sat 12-Jan-13 20:36:19

If you take your DC to these 'lessons' to have fun and get used to the water, then listen to the teacher or find one you like better. However, if you want your DC to learn to swim then find a teacher who doesn't use armbands or similar devises as these are counterproductive to actually learning to swim.

TotallyBS Sat 12-Jan-13 20:20:52

A formal letter of complaint? Yup, that will endear your DC to the teacher?

If you feel this strongly about this arm band thing then take your child out and do the teaching yourself. Problem solved.
It's definitely not worth all the discussion or letter writing.

FeistyLass Sat 12-Jan-13 20:03:41

I'd swap classes or drop classes for a while if possible and take your dc on your own.
I had a similar issue with ds' swimming lessons. He'd been timid of the water and for the first lesson the teacher was brilliant and he was swimming on his own with a noodle. The second week it was a different teacher (who was to be his main teacher) and she insisted on armbands and the children being ducked under the water shock. I persevered for a few weeks but it reached the stage that ds was crying as soon as we left the changing room.
Her approach worked for other children but not for him so we stopped classes and I went back to taking ds on my own. We quickly built up his confidence again.
If you don't trust the teacher then your dc will pick up on that and it will make for an unhappy time all round. Trying to force them to act differently with a letter of complaint seems like a recipe for disaster.

Yfronts Sat 12-Jan-13 19:58:03

My 2 year old uses a woggle only in his group swimming lesson

McNewPants2013 Sat 12-Jan-13 19:39:45

Are you buying the right armbands

Squiffie Sat 12-Jan-13 19:34:49

I'm so pleased there are people who get where I'm coming from! bangersmashandbeans I did speak to them prior to the kids starting which makes it all the more frustrating. Anyway, I'm writing a formal letter of complaint as his attitude stinks, I am however going to include haw great I think ds's teacher and the substitute teacher are!

5madthings Sat 12-Jan-13 19:23:52

Yanbu, what cake bar said only five kids worth of swimming lessons not three! smile

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 19:18:11

OP in life with children there will be battles. you need to pick which ones are worth fighting. this is not one of them. just put the bands on her or teach her to swim yourself during play sessions.

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