PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course) on Koh Tao, Thailand, not only the occasion to learn how to teach, but also meet new people!
This is only the story of the last IDC, but every month, the story is repeated with another PADI IDC starting. Becoming a Scuba Diving Instructor is something serious, we agree, but there is something about this course that make each candidates creating contact and building up relations with future professional which will be met again, but this time, around the world.
Last October, they were 10 candidates joining the colors of the flags together. Antal (Canada), Valentina (Italy), Colin (Ireland), Tanja (Germany), Peter (Holland), Mathyn (Maldives), Michelle and John (England), Yann (Switzerland), Christian (Germany) and the Course Directors Bas (Holland), Chris (England) and Master Instructor Marie (Quebec, Canada). Seven countries in one pool, one classroom and one boat!
Different background, different diving experience and different future were all mixed together over the 15 days spent together.
Even before starting the course, we’ve been seeing the candidates already diving, studying and assisting on courses together in order to prepare themselves well.
We could write down a whole list of bullet points which make our program an excellent one, not only for the training, but also for the ambiance. But let’s be honest, training on a tropical Island already describe a lot.
Peter Quintus (practicing a sheet bend knot on the picture above) has completed his Rescue and Dive Master course with Course Director Bas back in Egypt, Dahab, 6 years ago. Yann has been traveling the world, Colin has been an Instructors for years with different organization and decided to crossover to PADI. Mathyn has been working as a Dive Master since long time on the Maldives. Antal became a Dive Master on Koh Tao, same as John. There is so many more details we could add to each candidates, but this is only the proof that it doesn’t matter where you come from, where you learned how to dive, at the end of the day, we are share the same passion.
On an Instructor Development Course, we pass it on to the candidates.
The training involves a lot of practice, lectures and presentation of course. Teaching the candidates how to teach is not something which can be done in one day. Everybody have their strength and their weaknesses, but the most important, is to learn how to transform a weak point in a powerful one. It can be done via the Course Directors and their assistant, but also in between the candidates. So many possibilities and the most important, is that one morning, there is the magic happening and 10 happy faces which are now confident.
For candidates who do not speak or understand english enough to be able to listen to the lectures or give presentation in English, there is also the possibility of having the training in their own languages.
Freddy, our Korean Master Instructor has been offering lectures to Pyeunjhwa, Marie has been offering help in French and if any candidates would have needed help in their own language, they would have been able to get it. French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and more, with the help of our Staff Instructors team, it’s all there!!
Once underwater, we don’t think that we have to mention again that we all speak the same language. The diving world is fascinating when it comes to that as well.
On confined or Open Water presentation, candidates have to demonstrate and/or only evaluate the performance of their students. These students are actually the other candidates. Of course they are getting evaluated by their Course Directors, but they won’t have to do that only once! Many different presentations are part of the program to insure a good control and understanding.
These presentation are also the occasion to get out of the classroom and get back into the environment in which they sign up for: the underwater world.
During the program, each Instructor Candidates will also become Emergency First Responder and O2 Provider Instructors.
It’s included in the program and while EFR Instructor is a pre requisite to become instructor, the O2 Provider will also be very good to have when applying for work in different places around the world.
During the IDC, lunch are also included. Taking a break in between classroom or water presentation is always appreciated, but having also the occasion to sit together, talk about the morning or the plan for the afternoon or simply anything else while while having a perfect meal is priceless.
It’s also very often silence…food being too good!
After hard work, 13 days of learning (with a day off after about 7 days of course…day off which is usually well deserved and well planned as we use the night before for a few drinks together as well!!) and a lot of practice, up and down, laugh or angriness (we are human…we all have our days!!), the last 2 days are taking place on the final evaluation, the Instructor Examination (IE).
Over the IE, PADI examiners will come to Koh Tao to make the final evaluation of the candidates. It is actually nothing else then doing exactly the same the candidates did over the Instructor Development Course, but this time, in front of the examiner instead of their Course Director.
Stressful?! Yes, which we can understand, but again, looking at the candidates from the last IDC which were the perfect example of what we have every month, with the help of other, the support and the smiles on the faces, it all becomes possible.
A typical IE Schedule will start with Exams in the morning (5 Theory topics and 1 exam about General Standards and Procedures), followed in the afternoon by a Confined Presentation in swimming pool with also a mini skill circuit.
On the second day, there is an academic presentation in the morning and an afternoon on the boat for the Open Water Presentation
Everything which each candidates have to present or do on the IE has been practiced so many times.
Most importantly, once these the 2 days have been completed, here are the face you’ll find(!!!):
Smile on their face, certificate in hands and 15 days of work, concentration, fun, laughs well rewarded!
Ok…it’s also followed by a proper night out for those who want!!
The story of the 10 Candidates from the last IDCs is the perfect picture of what happens every month on Koh Tao. It’s a magic moment for them, for us, for the Course Directors.
The beginning of a new career for certain, if we look at this picture that most of them of already working with us or in different places around the world and we are looking forward to keep on working with them or meeting them in another beautiful part of the world.
One last IDC in 2014 will be kicking off on the 25th of November and once again, we will be offering an IDC every month in 2015. IDC’s fully in French will also now be offered for those who want or need.
Bas and Marie