Faces of FOSS: Josie Baker

Josie Baker
Deck Assistant/Swim Teacher
Woodbury, MN


Do you have a nickname your students call you?

Miss Mermaid

What is your favorite part of working for FOSS?

My favorite part of working for FOSS is seeing the development and skill growth my swimmers make throughout the span of a quarter. I love seeing my swimmers get more comfortable with me as an instructor as well and using the skills they are learning

What is your favorite FOSS story?

My favorite FOSS story would be anytime I have a swimmer who puts their eyes in the water on their own for the first time or anytime I have kids who cheer on their classmates, it always makes for a positive and motivating class.

What is your favorite skill to teach?

My favorite skill to teach is pirate eye because it is always fun to see the swimmers run with their imaginations and fight off the pirates invading our pool while learning a new and often challenging skill!

What is your personal favorite water activity? 

I was a synchronized swimmer when I was younger so I still have fun trying to remember how to do some of the skills and moves I learned as a kid. I also love a good pool ball fight with my family and friends in the summers.

As a child, how did you feel about the water? 

I was a fish even as a little kid. I started swimming when I was 2 and began synchronized swimming from the ages of 4-10 which helped me grow in my comfort in the water. I’ve always been someone who feels comfortable in the water and love finding ways to inspire individual comfort with water for each of my kiddos I teach.

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

I think my favorite swim lesson activity to do with my swimmers is rings. It’s inspiring to see how excited kids get when they know that they worked hard to earn their ring time. I love how creative kids can be with rings—a lot of times I see underwater flips on the way back from a successful ring hunt.

Have you swum competitively? What was your most fulfilling achievement?

I’m really proud of the achievements I reached while competing in synchronized swimming, it is not a very common sport and a decently challenging one where I definitely grew in my love of water. I also swam competitively in middle and high school. The most fulfilling achievement from my times on my swim teams was my final meet of my high school swimming career. I dropped more time than I had set as my mental goal for the race and was so proud of all the hard work that went into my successful time.

What else would you like to tell prospective parents about working with FOSS?

I believe that as a teacher for FOSS it is my fantastic responsibility to be flexible in my teaching and accommodate to the learning styles of each swimmer as an individual kid. I think it is important to encourage swimmers to keep going and to give positive feedback that helps them grow in their skills with every lap. I think it is so important to give constructive feedback to the swimmers while also pointing out the thing that they put so much of their energy into doing well. I make sure to always let my swimmers know how proud I am for them giving whatever their best may be when they come to each lesson.

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