Being in the education business myself I was reminded how much I enjoyed teaching and learning myself from both perspectives. When I first took up sea kayaking I returned to the classroom as a teacher with a healthy awareness of how it felt to be a learner, to be asked to do something new and difficult, perhaps even to be a bit fearful of what was being asked of you. I understood the importance of trust and success.
So a few years down the line and I am still learning new things and relearning old stuff. The range of things to learn is challenging in itself, from navigation and tidal planning, VHF procedures, sea survival skills, boat repair and outfitting, rescue techniques to leading and communicating effectively in a group a sea. But I still enjoy working on paddling skills the most and this is the bit that needs great skill to coach well.
So respect to those folk who have helped my skill development and coached me along the way either because it is what they do or becuase they are just good at it and they were there. The newest thing on my ‘to learn’ list is how to coach well! To those folk who may experience me trying to explain skills to them over the next while, thank you for your patience, and when your skills surpass mine don’t forget to look back and throw me a few tips when you see my boat submerged in surf, stuck on a rock or upside down in the pool. I’m still learning.