Challenge yourself to be a diving instructor in 2017…

For those who are still pondering if you should take the leap to become a diving instructor, my advice…Just do it!

I started diving since 2005 and fell in love with the sport. I was mesmerised by the magical underwater world & keep pursuing my knowledge & skill in diving. From open water, advanced, nitrox, rescue, master dive master to dive master…it took me only 2 years to complete. However, things took a turn when i was relocated overseas due to work in 2008. My diving journey was disrupted involuntarily. The break was for a long one with only rare occasional leisure dives from 2008 to 2016. Fortunately, during my last diving trip i was reconnected with an old diving friend and in a flash, my diving journey begins again…

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The SSI Instructor Training Course (ITC) is the beginning to a dive professional commitments where you can teach students to become divers as an OPEN WATER INSTRUCTOR. Exciting as it sounds, candidates must also be ready to take on the responsibilities to become both a facilitator & an ambassador to promote diving as a sport; and protection & conservation of our aquatic environment. Something i am more than ready & excited to take on…

My exhilarating journey for ITC begin on the end of November 2016…

It was 4 weeks of intense preparation before we are qualified to an Instructor Evaluation (IE). There were a total of 7 of us -Kenneth, Veronica Joyce, Stacy, Scott, Ryan & myself, all from different professions & backgrounds but bounded together by our strong love for diving and the burning fire to spread our passion to many more to become divers.

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We have a group of Instructor trainers (IT) whom are also dedicated to equip us with what’s needed for the IE. Dry Skills, Demonstration skills, teaching skills, Pool sessions, Briefing/Debriefing & the invaluable sharing of their personal experiences. Look how serious Rebecca (our IT) reviewed our performance after the open water sessions

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It was a month of sponging us with diving kills & knowledge & taking our respective experiences to weave it with the requirements, and made us IE-ready. By that, it meant also liberating us from a mere diving enthusiast into a responsible, competent and ready-to-be instructor!

Then it was the final moment of truth on 16,17 & 18 Dec 2017 – IE days!…

First day was the academic section where we are to sit a 100 questions exam.
The candidates were acting crazy to ease their stomach butterflies while Jay (the Instructor trainer) tried to give some last minute revision.

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Some of us kept our team spirit high by working together after the academics exam to prepare for the next day!

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The next day, we set sail to Pulau Hantu for our open water evaluation. Look how fighting fit all of us were…

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Briefing session on the boat while on the way to Hantu. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of my briefing score…

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Gearing up for the in-water sessions where we took turns to role play “students” and “instructors.” “Instructors” would then had to spot problems on “students” and correct them.

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On the way back after the open water evaluation, we did our debriefing & the confident ones (like Ryan & Kenneth) celebrated their outstanding performance with a classy “DAB”!

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After a full day of sun, sea water, current & our favourite diving, we headed back to the classroom to do our micro teaching evaluation. Each of us had our chance to stand in front of the class to be “instructor for the day”!

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On the 3rd and final day, we dawn our gears in the famous OUTRAM secondary to commence our pool sessions. Clean demonstration with sharp & exaggerated movements in the right sequence is what the Instructor Certifier (IC) will be looking out for. The usual role play of “students” & “instructors” ensued. Here we go…

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In the afternoon, it was back to the classroom with more micro teaching sessions and a round table verbal questions & answers session with our IC. Look how engrossed and composed we were…or were we merely drained out? 🙂

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST, the final moment!…

We had moment of stress & intense, where lack of rest compounded by days of more than 12 hours working didn’t really pamper the body. We had lots of laughter & fun where the inert nature of being divers always allow us to seek fun without compromising on “safety”. We had moment of uncertainty where it seemed that regardless of our preparation, we always seemed to be missing out a bit. Then all of a sudden, when our names are called out! …only joy, adrenaline & sense of achievement filled our brains & it was all written on our faces. Our ITs – Rebecca, Aly & Jay, couldn’t be more proud of this 2nd batch of SSI ITC graduate instructors who FINALLY made it!

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Joining us in this adrenaline rush & achievement was also our IC – Hu Lunchi (aka. Xiao K), who was also the first certified INSTRUCTOR CERTIFIER for ADA. No wonder, Ronny Kain (SSI International Training Manager) couldn’t wipe his smile off his face.

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Reward & Celebration of this glorious moments for us was GOOD food! …

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And final recognition by ADA (picture with ADA CEO – Jacki) for completion of ITC and a full fledged Open Water Instructor!

Like our IT – Rebecca would always say to us:” Your journey as a DIVE Professional has only just begun….”

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I am happy for making another milestone in my diving journey & i love this sport more each day.
The lessons are abundant for us to learn and it keeps coming. So if you are ever wondering if being a diving professional is for you, my answer to you is…Just do it, you will only learn!

Lawrence Phua #76910

Care to Dive. Dive to Care.


Diving Courses

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