Teaching! Obviously I still love to dive. After more than 20 years diving, I still don’t get tired of it, but teaching IDC courses is really my favorite. It’s so rewarding to spend several weeks with future instructors, to see them gain confidence, to improve, and then very quickly to see them teach their first class! I regularly receive messages from my former students who tell me how much they like what they do or think about me as they land their first job. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to train other passionate people and seeing them worship their craft as much as me!
Dive! It’s important, I think, to have some experience before thinking of teaching others. And also, if possible, to have varied experiences: diving in different places, with different dive centers, observing different professionals around you. We must also have a certain amount of humility in this job: we always learn something from the ocean, other professionals, divers around us. I ,for example, continue to do training once-in-a-while to get out of my comfort-zone. I also spend lots of time trying to improve my underwater photography skills - it’s a hobby of mine. All good professionals I know say the same thing: you never stop learning, progressing, pursuing specific interests such as photography, tech diving, equipment, etc.
Today it is quite easy to find online reviews of training and it’s a good way to get a first idea. I think it’s also important to get in touch with the professional training team to ask questions and see how the program is. I always offer my IDC (Instructor Development Course) or Divemaster candidates to talk on the phone. It’s important to know their expectations, to answer their questions and let them know how the courses are structured. It is also essential to clarify the stakes of the internship, the expectations of the candidate, the center, and the general organization of the training. Finally, like anything else, good training has a price. It is important not to make concessions on the quality of training, materials, and the availability of teachers.
Vast question! Raja Ampat is starting to be on the list of many divers now. It’s an amazing place for biodiversity and wonderful to explore. This year I went diving in Alor, a magical and still little-known destination. Another of my favorite spots and little frequented is Bira, South Sulawesi. For lovers of muck diving, I highly recommend Ambon, with few tourists and a very rich life!
Hélène has been living in Bali for 6 years, where she teaches all levels of PADI vocational training. She has been diving for more than 20 years and enjoys macro diving, drift diving, and underwater photography.
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