Faces of FOSS: Sylvia Johnson

Sylvia Johnson
Shift Coordinator
Niles, IL

How long have you worked for FOSS?

I’ve been at FOSS for two and a half years.

What is your favorite part about working for FOSS?

I like that everyone at FOSS works as a team. And everyone who works here genuinely loves being here and loves to do what we do. The environment shows it, too. When you walk into the room (even the staff room) everyone is always greeted with a warm smile. We truly have become a family. It’s a feeling that you cannot fake or take away. 

What is your favorite skill to teach and why?

I love teaching flips turns. They’re super fun to do and super cool to watch. Seeing the kids have fun, while working on breath control and practicing controlling their bodies to fly through the water in a smooth and graceful way, is phenomenal. 

Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major “lightbulb” moment when you were with them? 

One of my first sessions as an instructor, I had a boy who was about 10 years old who was very scared to swim. He hated getting water in his face and hated it in his ears and on his head. By the end of the first week of the two-week camp, he was blowing bubbles and not freaking out when water got on his face (however, he still didn’t like it). By the end of the second week of the camp, he was practicing putting his face in the water. Even though it was for a short time, mom was so happy that he was starting to get over his fear that she was tearing up. My student was so proud of himself that he would always come to class telling me about how excited he was that he did his homework the night before. I was ecstatic for him and always made sure he knew that he was making progress every day! I loved seeing him grow as a swimmer during the summer. Both him and his mom were beyond excited at the progress he had made. It was amazing getting to be  a part of his journey. 

What is your favorite swim lesson activity to do with kids and why?

I love teaching my swimmers how to dive down and get the rings. They get so excited when they get to swim under the water like a fishy or a mermaid. (Which just so happens to be my favorite thing to do when swimming, as well). 


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