This month marks the end of my second year as a dive professional in Key Largo, Florida. Although I’m an independent instructor, I primarily work with Ocean Divers, Inc., and I continue to enjoy my time underwater on the reefs and wrecks in the surrounding area. Since becoming an open water scuba instructor in January 2013 I’ve advanced my own career by becoming an Instructor Development Course (IDC) Staff Instructor, and I’ve attained approval to instruct 22 PADI Specialty and Distinctive Specialty courses, and 3 Emergency First Response (EFR) courses. I’m pleased to report that I’ve certified one or more students in each of these specialty areas, and each class has been fun and rewarding.
This year I recorded 320 open water dives and approximately 150 confined water dives. I certified 92 divers (49 diving certifications, 35 specialty certifications, 6 EFR certifications, and 2 professional certifications), and acquired an additional 12 IDC staffing certifications (having volunteered in 3 IDCs). I achieved the PADI Elite Instructor Award for the 2nd consecutive year. I’ve taught students from 7 Countries and 20 States, with ages ranging from 11 to 73—proof that this is truly a sport everyone can enjoy.
My goal for 2015 is to attain my Master Instructor credential — my ultimate aspiration in scuba diving. This rating requires an instructor to teach for a minimum of two years, certify a minimum of 150 students (of which a certain number must be at a professional level), participate in continuing education seminars, and display professional conduct. I still need to introduce two new divemasters to the professional side of this incredible sport. Any takers?
2014 was an amazing year because of my students, peers and mentors—all whom continue to make teaching scuba diving a rewarding adventure.