First, and foremost we hire teachers that love children. We don’t care how well a teacher can swim. The major prerequisite to be a Little Otter teacher is that they have to be great with children. All of our new teachers attend Otter University. This allows a new teacher to learn the philosophy and techniques that we have used to teach thousands of children how to swim. It includes 40 hours of classroom and in water instruction, as well as, shadowing hours with our most experienced teachers.
We invest a lot of time and effort into every teacher before they take that first class on their own. This results in teachers that not only understand how to teach, but also why we teach the way we do. Our background is in early childhood development, which means we understand that a 6 month old learns in very different ways from a 6 year old. This means that our teachers use a curriculum that is based on the age of the child and respectful of what is appropriate for each age.
After our teachers have learned the basics, they can go for advanced degrees. Teachers in our upper level classes receive additional training in the competitive strokes and proper technique. Our Otter Baby teachers are our most skilled teachers. They do additional class room, in water and shadowing training in order to be able to teach the Otter Baby classes.
In addition, we belong to the US Swim School Association, Swim Australia, World Aquatic Baby Congress and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. These professional organizations provide us with the most advanced techniques from around the world. We have had swim schools from as far away as South Africa visit to see our facility. We have visited swim schools all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. But even with all this knowledge it still comes down to loving a child. Because when a child feels loved they will learn.