PADI Instructor Course, Koh Tao
The Instructor course or PADI IDC – Instructor Development Course – as it is commonly known, is a 14 day program conducted by PADI Course Directors. Candidates need to be a PADI Divemaster to enroll. To successful become a PADI Instructor successful candidates must complete a 2 day PADI IE – Instructor Examinations – scheduled immediately after the IDC has finished, conducted by PADI Examiners from the PADI Office.
To begin with, like everybody I was nervous. The schedule does look quite intensive at first. In reality, within a few days I realized my PADI Divemaster course and time spent working at Crystal Dive had prepared me well. The days where structured but not overly long. Starting at 9am, the Course Directors where around from 8am and most days we’re finished by 4pm. Once I had completed my homework assignments it wasn’t even 6pm.
The real challenge is the dive theory. It is more in depth than the dive theory we learn on the Divemaster course. Luckily for me, I had lots of good advice. The best piece of advice was to read the Encyclopedia of Recreational diving and complete the diving knowledge work book ahead of time.
My PADI IDC – A Brief Summary
Meeting candidates from other dive centre and making new friends
The most enjoyable part….
Learning how to teach people to dive! The Course Directors would assign problems; the rest of us would role play as students. One of us would be the ‘Instructor’ and would present an entire skill from a PADI Course. This involved; briefings and debriefings, demonstrations, control and delivery in both confined water and open water.
The most nerve racking part….
Standing up in front of the class and teaching my first ‘classroom’, or knowledge development presentation.
The boring part….
Studying Physics and Physiology – luckily for me I self studied before the IDC started. This helped me lots and allowed me to enjoy the course much more.
The easiest part….
The PADI IE. We were so well prepared by our PADI Course Directors.
What I looked forward to the most every day….
The lunches! (they we’re great!)
The most fun part….
The least enjoyable part….
The Hangover the day after!
My top tip….
Self study the dive theory before the IDC starts. It definitely makes the course more enjoyable and less stressful!
There we’re 12 of us in total but with 3 PADI Course Directors all presentations where conducted in groups of 4 candidates per Course director. The entire IDC had a very personal feel to it. The Course Directors were superb! I think Crystal has the most experienced team around and you could certainly tell. The entire program was conducted in a very smooth and professional manner.
The Instructor Internship
The final step in my Instructor development before starting a full time job at Crystal Dive was the Master Scuba Diver Trainer Course (MSDT). The MSDT Instructor Internship is the best way to build confidence and become a good instructor. To begin with I did 5 days of PADI Instructor Specialty training courses. The areas I chose to study where Enriched Air, Deep Diver, Wreck diver, Navigation & Search & Recovery. Once this was done it was time for the ‘team teaching’ Internship. Finally, my first opportunity to teach real student divers had arrived!
I had the opportunity to team teach alongside the senior instructors at Crystal. Getting a chance to learn from the best helps…lots! As does teaching with a variety of instructors. This allowed me to experience a wide range of teaching styles.
My very 1st ‘team teach’ was with Neil. This was a very strange feeling for me. Here I was, a scuba diving instructor, teaching students alongside the same guy who, just over a year ago was teaching me my Open Water course…. in the same pool! The course ran very smoothly and there were few problems.
What I noticed was how much control Neil had. He really made it look so easy. You could tell this guy had been doing this for for years. I guess he must being doing something right….I was one of his ex students and I fell in love with scuba!
The following three weeks was all about teaching. I team taught with a variety of Crystal Dive’s Instructional team, slowly building up my teaching ability and confidence and by the end, I was super confident in teaching all aspects of all PADI courses independently. I had taught multiple Open Water courses, an Advanced Open Water course, an EFR & Rescue course as well as several of the PADI Specialties I was certified to teach. Don’t get me wrong. I know I still have lots to learn but I have a great foundation to build on in the years ahead.
My final ‘team teach’ was with Tina. Tina was my mentor during my Divemaster and it felt like a fitting end to the MSDT program. This time roles had reversed and it was now all down to me. Tina watched and offered advice as and when I needed it but I taught the entire course. To get to teach with all these instructors who had helped me from the very beginning, starting at Open Water and right the way through was brilliant. I feel that it has greatly helped me into getting where I am today.
No doubt the open water course is my favorite course to teach. Helping students with fears and problems to begin with, overcome them and grow to love diving is an amazing feeling. My other favorite course to teach is the Wreck Specialty. I have loved diving Wreck’s from the minute I completed the Wreck Adventure dive, as part of my PADI Advanced Open water course. Now I get to teach people how to penetrate ship wrecks safely. And it’s not just about exploring a wreck. Researching the history behind a wreck is one of the big appeals of wreck diving.
So now it’s time for me to stand on my own two feet and begin teaching my own courses. It’s been a life changing last 12 months, and one I would not change for anything.
Crystal Dive and some of their amazing Instructors have changed my life.
Now it’s time for me to change other people’s lives!
Author: Andy McEvoy (PADI MSDT)