Words Matter: The Power of Positivity

As a swim school, FOSS spends a lot of time training our teachers the right way to pass along and nurture the development of specific swim skills. We turn these skills into fun, age-appropriate activities and exercises that build on each other to help a child progress on their own, unique path towards becoming a confident swimmer.

But just as important as what we teach and how we teach it is communicating in a positive way, using words of encouragement and happiness to draw out the best in our students. When we hire, our number one criterion is not finding the best swimmers – it’s finding people who love working with kids and communicate well on their level.

Cheree’s story: How words helped her special-needs swimmer progress

When we succeed with our attitude, we hear back stories like this, from Cheree, who enrolled her kids at the Foss Swim School in Highland Park near Chicago:

“We have been swimming at Foss for many years. It always feels like family when we go. The Highland Park crew has been nothing but great and accommodating. I have three children who have learned to swim and swim well at FOSS.

I’d like for every teacher to use the positive and encouraging words Tyler used with my son last night. My son was having a hard time transitioning from Tyler to another teacher at a higher level, and new students. He used the words “congratulations,” “I know you can do it,” “I’ll be watching” to let my son know he cared and won’t forget him.

This language works on all kids (especially mine with special needs) and we need to encourage that connection and positive language! Thanks Tyler. This staff connects and communicates well with each other and me to keep the kids happy and swimming!”

Communication is key to effective learning

This is just one case where choosing the right words made a difference.

At FOSS, we try to make every level of communication positive and effective. This includes how we communicate with (and listen to) parents, guide students to show positivity and respect to their classmates, and also how our teachers and staff talk to each other.

This value and lesson is not unique to swim school, of course. But it’s one place where we try to stand out every time we are working with students and families. We believe that when kids are happy and confident, they are ready to learn and grow – whether at the pool or anywhere in life.

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