In my last post, I announced that I had accepted a position as Sailing Instructor at OCSC, in Berkeley, California. Even after an extensive interview and evaluation process, I still faced a lot of preparation before I could actually *start* teaching.
And that's what I've been up to this past month. My training and development included studying the syllabus, auditing classes, and certifying for CPR/First Aid. I also did a lot of sailing on my own to really hone my skills on the class boat, which is a J24 (24 feet long, 8 feet wide, 3,000 pounds).
Then, finally, this last weekend, I taught my first sailing class, and loved every minute of it! I'm excited to have a job that is active and outdoors, that involves helping individuals achieve their personal goals, and that enables me to share my passion for the sport of sailing.
Teaching will be challenging for sure. Students learn at different speeds and in different ways. Complex ideas may have to be broken down into bit-size chunks and explained multiple ways, and multiple times. And sailing is not lacking in such topics. We have our own nautical language, knots, navigational aids (lights, sounds, and symbols), and "rules of the road." Add to this the dynamic environment of 3 strangers new to sailing working together to drive the boat safely and efficiently through choppy waves in 15-20 knots of wind, and you can get a pretty exciting classroom!
My first class was just that. In our first hour of sailing this weekend, my three students and I faced a squall and hail storm! I can’t explain the feeling of responsibility that washed over me, as the boat heeled over, as the horizontal hail pelted our faces, and as my students’ faces reflected everything from terror to excitement! I smiled and said “Welcome to the Bay!”
Fortunately, that squall subsided within a few minutes, and the rest of the weekend was filled with sunshine and fresh breeze. Teaching is going to be great fun!
Although I have rejoined the work force, I am only working part-time. Dannyboy still travels. I have sailing, hiking, and volunteering trips planned to New Zealand, Germany, and one other secret location in 2017! So be sure to stay tuned!