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Instructor training meeting April 18, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Training.
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The class of future instructors (Steve, Jim, Matt, Marty, Andrew and a young lady who I’d not met before, Kelly, who was being chaperoned by her dad) met on Thursday night. Ed, our Course Director, ran us through the things we needed to know, especially the course dates. It’s a bigger commitment than I’d originally thought, as the follow-on MSDT prep training is two more weekends, including one in Brockville. Mind you, going to Brockville can hardly be called a chore but I have other non-diving obligations to think of.

He explained that the diving part of the course is similar to AI, except that prescriptive teaching instead of microteaching is used (as an aside, he said that the microteaching approach isn’t mentioned again until Course Director training, except, I presume, when you’re training new assistant instructors).

There’s also a bunch of new materials to buy, including slates. I’ve not found much value in the slates I own so far, but I’m hopeful that these, which represent a fair investment, will be more useful as they will help me remember all the skills that need to be taught.

The MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) section will include 5 specialties and 6 dives over two days (the part in Brockville). We have to take Enriched Air and Oxygen Provider. I was definitely going to do Enriched Air as this is a path to technical instruction, and Oxygen Provider can’t hurt. So I have to pick three more.

I was discussing which ones to take with Jim, and I said that Deep, Wreck and Dry Suit were the ones that I was most interested in. He pointed out that dry suits aren’t needed in Brockville, while boat diving and drift diving are the norm. However, I think that Deep, Wreck and Dry Suit are more sought after, and of course Deep is another path to technical diving instruction, so those are my choices. I’ll have to pick up the others later, which is easy enough after getting MSDT. It will be much faster to get the MSDT rating if I’m able to also teach specialties, especially in conjunction with dive club trips.

The annual wreck course in Brockville is an obvious candidate for this, as instruction is limited to technical divers who are comfortable with doubles and stage bottles. So aside from Brad, who doesn’t need any more certs, it will probably be divided up between me and Andrew, as the other guys haven’t done their Tec Deep course yet. All this is speculation though, who knows how it will turn out?

I found out at the club meeting that crossover to SDI Instructor from PADI can be done on-line with some study and a test (and US $399). I can’t see the value right now but maybe I will later. I would definitely like to do some additional technical training and the sister organizationTDI might be an option for that.

Before the classes start in my, I need to complete the knowledge reviews. I have most of them done already. I finally sprung for an eRDPml. This replaces the eRDP, which is a little calculator that embodies the PADI Repetitive Dive Planner (a.k.a. the “tables”) in a small calculator. The eRDPml is the same, but has multilevel planning and uses 5 foot rather than 10 foot increments, equivalent to the “Wheel”, a circular slide rule device. I’m glad the wheel is obsolete this year and I can use the calculator. It’s much easier.

I’ll write something up on the eRDPml once I’ve gone through it thoroughly. Next stop is Pensacola, and I’ll be twittering on the way down and will update the blog once I get there after my 19 hour road trip.

Speaking of twitter, I’ve installed a twitter client called Twitterberry on my Blackberry Curve just for this trip, so I can tweet while mobile. I had trouble with it at first, but realized after a while that I was holding down the Alt key instead of Shift when entering my password. As passwords echo as asterisks (*), the mistake wasn’t obvious. So now I can twitter to my heart’s content.

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