Faces of FOSS: DJ

Swim Instructor
Highland Park, IL


How long have you worked for FOSS?

5 1/2 years!

What is your favorite part of working at FOSS?

Connecting with swimmers and parents. Swim lessons are often the highlight of a swimmer’s week. The connections I make brings laughter, joy and at times teraful goodbyes.

Share your favorite FOSS story:

It’s so hard to narrow it down to one experience! However, my favorite thing to see is swimmers that I have taught continuing to swim now. I’ve taught infants who now know strokes at 4 and 5 years old! I’ve taught kids who knew nothing about technique to now being on swim teams at their schools! The work that we do at FOSS really is life-saving and stays with the swimmers forever! I am proud to be a part of that.

What is your favorite level/age to teach?

I love teaching levels between Middle 4s – Big 6s. The swimmers have more of an appreciation for swimming as a sport and work harder to improve. They see the benefits of improving and we still have fun while working hard!

What is your personal favorite water activity? 

Beach volleyball—it involves water because it’s at the beach and we jump in the water afterwards!

As a child, how did you feel about the water? Did you have any particular challenges or lack of confidence you needed to overcome to learn to swim well?

As a child I never learned how to swim and only experienced water by means of the bath, small plastic pools and going knee deep at the beach. The danger of water and not knowing how to swim prevented me from truly loving the water. It was only by means of my employment at FOSS where I learned how to swim and learned to love the water.

Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major breakthrough moment when you were with them? What was it? 

Last session I taught a man in an Adult 1 class who had little knowledge of swimming. He told me he could get from one side of the pool to the other, but that it wouldn’t look pretty. For the first few weeks we worked on basic skills that targeted specific abilities. One that triggered his “lightbulb” moment was the fact that you exhale slowly underwater and flip to breath or inhale. Once he understood that, he progressed a lot faster and halfway through the session we were practicing his freestyle with a side breath for the whole length of the pool.

Please share anything else you’d really wish you could tell parents about you as they bring their children to FOSS:

To the families: Thank you for choosing Foss Swim School and allowing me to connect with your swimmers as their instructor. I’ll never forgot the connections I’ve made!

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