Add preparation, structure, interaction, plus water. Mix thoroughly.
There’s a reason why everything runs so smoothly on any given day at every Ocaquatics facility. We’re huge believers in setting things up for success. That means planning and preparing for the events that will happen throughout the day.
This foundation also gives every Ocaquatics team member the ability to place more focus on their role, which includes ensuring the safety of the children who have been entrusted to our care. Here’s an insiders’ peek into what happens behind the scenes.
It starts with the daily huddle
Dani Vargas, an Ocaquatics aquatic team member, says that starting each day with a huddle offers a chance to gain a better perspective of how each team member is doing, and that’s crucial because of the deep level of dependence they have on each other. “Nothing is better,” he says.
Fellow aquatic team member Kathy Sequera agrees on the importance of this everyday kickoff meeting. “It helps us to understand what we need to accomplish,” she says. “We talk about the day’s goals, as well as looking at what we’ll do as a team and as individuals throughout the week.”
Our daily huddle is done with our aquatics team and our dry team. “It is so important for us to make sure we review our mission, core values, and our goals with our team,” says Maricarmen Saleta, operation manager. “We want everyone to be on the same page, and our huddle is the perfect time to come together as a team and get to know each other more.”
It moves on to daily swim lesson preparation
Each instructor receives a list of children who will attend the day’s classes. “These lists are powerful tools for us,” says Vargas. “It helps me to plan how I’ll move each class through their lesson, and it also gives me the ability to pay closer attention to each child, so I can determine what I need to work with each one, and who might need some extra individual attention.”
“You should see my sheets at the end of the say,” says Sequera. “I fill them up with notes that help me keep track of where each child needs work. They become records of progress.”
It includes the parents
“Parents are a huge part of our swim program,” says Vargas. “Depending on the age of their children, sometimes the parents are actually in the water with us. Even if they’re on the side just observing, our teaching methods allow parents to see and understand exactly what kids are learning.”
“We prefer that parents are close by and plugged in to what’s happening in the pool with their children,” adds Sequera. “That way, parents can participate in teaching their children to swim and be safer around water by reinforcing what they watched happen during the lesson.”
It ends on a positive note
“We don’t just stop the clock and chase everybody out of the pool,” says Sequera. “Each aquatic team member has an opportunity to deepen the connection between students and their parents or caregivers. I find it extremely satisfying to teach kids this way. It’s also gratifying because I’m responsible for helping them learn a life-saving skill.”
“The bond with the children and the families comes natural from the greeters at the boutique and front desk, to the manager, the supervisors and the whole team,” says Saleta. “We love getting to know everyone by their name, learning about each family that comes to us, and have their children not only learn to swim with us, but to grow with us.”
“All that energy from the pool migrates over to the waiting parents,” says Vargas. “It’s the perfect opportunity to touch base with parents and hear any input or concerns they have. Successful learning starts with building relationships. The way Ocaquatics approaches teaching is a level of structure you don’t get to see often. But it’s necessary. We’re teaching lifelong skills in half-hour increments.”
We are so grateful to have such an amazing team here at Ocaquatics. If you’re interested in joining the Ocaquatics family, check out our blog “What to Expect at an Interview with Ocaquatics.” Or, if you’re interested in signing your child up for swim lessons, please contact us today!