St. Paul, MN
How long have you worked for FOSS?
What is your favorite part about working for FOSS?
My favorite part of working at FOSS is meeting our families and building relationships with them. I love it when parents come back and tell stories about their kids talking at home about something their swim teacher said or did. Those relationships are what make this job as rewarding as it is!
Can you tell us your favorite FOSS story?
A FOSS mom came up to me and told me I had gotten her kids in trouble! They went to the Wisconsin Dells and went down a water slide. When her son got to the bottom, he didn’t know where to go, so he flipped over and tried to swim back to where he fell in… which was back up the water slide! She told me how great it was to see him really use the skills he had learned at FOSS and felt confident that he would know what to do if he ever fell in… unless it was a water slide!
What is your favorite level to teach and why?
I would say Little 2s and Big 5s! Little 2s are just learning to swim independently, and it’s so much fun when you have that breakthrough moment. Big 5s are almost the opposite. Teaching the ins and outs of competitive strokes can be tricky, but it’s so rewarding when they figure it out and you watch them FLY (see what I did there) away!
What is your favorite skill to teach and why?
This has to be breaststroke. Everything breaststroke. Parents often don’t understand the importance of these skills, but knowing that, when swimming recreationally, breaststroke is most commonly used, I believe it is a vital part of water safety. After all, who wants to go swim with your friends and just do freestyle the whole time? That’s not fun!
What is your personal favorite water activity? Why?
Anything involving a motor and going fast!
Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major “lightbulb” moment when you were with them?
There was a student I worked with years ago. He absolutely despised coming to swimming and acted out often in class. In working with the Shift Coordinator, the parent, and the child, we found he felt less confident because he was going slower than the other students. We worked extra on the things he struggled with, and by the end of the quarter he was the fastest in the class! He was so proud he had learned the first steps of his strokes and decided then and there he was going to be on our Fastjets swim team — and a year later he made it!
What is your favorite swim lesson activity to do with kids and why?
For the younger kids, it has to be our safety turn progression. Watching them go from dubious to fall in to jumping in with a huge smile is hugely rewarding. With the older kids, it has to be games that reinforce the skills they have learned by making games from racing for rings to sharks and minnows. Giving them a chance to just go can be when they best adapt their skills for daily swimming.
Is there anything else you really wish you could tell parents about you as they bring their children to FOSS?
At FOSS, I’ve taught many students at many locations. The best moments here have been the stories shared with us from you, our families. Please share your fun moments with us. It makes our day when you do!