Meet the Instructors: Katie Tiedeman

Katie Tiedeman
Woodbury, MN

How long have you worked for FOSS?
I was hired in February 2015.

What is your favorite part of working for FOSS?
Everyone gets along so well and works really hard to succeed. There’s always someone there to encourage you or assist you. Someone’s always ready to tell a joke or find a way to make you laugh.

What is your favorite level to teach and why?
I enjoy teaching the littles, specifically the 3 and 4-year olds. I think it’s because I have a daughter about that age, so I feel like I can relate to the kids and the parents. I also like teaching the beginning levels of any age group. It feels awesome when you help a kiddo overcome a fear of water or to see the parents get so excited to watch their child swim.

What is your personal favorite water activity?
I like to do lazy rivers or sit on a tube and just people watch. When I was younger, I thought it was cool how the water could push you through the river. As a parent, I enjoy the rare chance to quietly sit on a raft or tube and just take in the scenery of the lake or river.

Can you recount a major “lightbulb” moment for a student of yours?
This past session I worked with a young lady in a middle 1 class. On the first day, she was hesitant to put any part of her face in the water. We continued to work on each skill and build her confidence. About half-way through the session, there was one day that she looked at me at the beginning of class and said ‘I’m going to swim all by myself today.’ And she did! I looked at her mom and she had the biggest smile on her face and we gave each other a thumbs-up!

What is your favorite swim lesson activity to do with kids?
I enjoy doing the ‘Jack be Nimble’ circuit with the baby classes. It’s fun to see the kids get excited to go on the mat. And I think the parents enjoy the variety of skills in that routine. For the other kiddos, I enjoy teaching Kings Chair. It’s fun to ask them what they are boiling with their toes and pretend that they have crowns on their heads that can’t fall off.

What was your most fulfilling swimming achievement?
My most fulfilling accomplishment would be either swimming an open water 10K in 2008, because I never thought I would be able to push my body to swim that distance at one time, or swimming at Masters Nationals when it was in Omaha in 2012. It was amazing to be able to swim in the Olympic Trials pool just a few days after the Olympians had been there!

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