Last week, the instructor who really taught me most of what I know about diving and instructing called me and asked if I would be interested in helping with the pool sessions for the divemaster class. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
It is an interesting experience working with my instructor (who is also our course director) as a colleague and not as a student. For the sake of simplicity, I will refer to my instructor as CD for the rest of this entry. I still feel like a student when I am around CD and I guess that will be so for some time to come. The great thing about working with CD is that he is so good at what he does and I find myself always learning when I dive with him.
The one area that CD excels in is paying attention to detail. I tend to be a big picture kind of person and find that I don't always drill down to the nitty-gritty detail of things. However in working with CD, I have learned to pay very close attention to every skill and subskill that the students perform. It is part of the training to have the students flub on a specific skill to see if the candidates pick up on the mistake, but he is a stickler for detail which makes his students stickler for detail too.
Previously I wrote about how I felt that my training was more intense when I did my divemaster class. Having worked with the new batch of divemaster candidates, I guess I still feel that way. I remember how picky CD was about the most minute aspect of every skill. I am glad that he set such a high standard for us. The current class is much smaller than the class I attended so I am sure that the smaller class size allows for a more informal class situation.