Faces of FOSS: Emily Snyder

Emily Snyder
Swim Teacher and Enrollment Specialist
Ankeny, IA


How long have you worked for FOSS? 

8 months!


What is your favorite part of working for FOSS?  

Seeing kids’ faces light up when they learn something new.


Can you tell us your favorite FOSS Story? 

I was teaching a Big 1 class, and one of the students was gifted some lessons for Christmas. She was hesitant at first, but quickly got the hang of swimming. She conquered everything I taught, and I had to keep teaching her more difficult skills. She loved it so much and we bonded really well. When she was no longer able to keep going with the lessons, she cross-stitched a little turtle for me to show her gratitude. We had talked about our favorite animals during one of our earlier lessons, and she had remembered that turtles are mine. It showed me how much of a difference we make in these kids’ lives.


What is your favorite skill to teach and why?

Backfloat is my favorite, especially when the kiddos sing along to the songs I sing for them. I love to backfloat myself because I find it so relaxing.

Can you share a major breakthrough moment you had with a student?

I had a kid who could not float on their back—everything we tried just didn’t seem to work. I had my shift coordinator suggest that they bend their knees a bit…and it worked! They were able to float perfectly! I was cheering for them, mom was cheering for them, and they were cheering! We celebrated for a few minutes before continuing the lesson.

Anything else you’d like to share?

FOSS basically taught me how to swim as an adult. There was no judgment, no complaints. They were extremely patient with me when I needed it. Every single teacher here has a passion for teaching, a passion for swimming, or both. We understand that not every person learns the same way, and we take that into account when teaching.


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