Being a lifeguard, one question that I have heard a lot is “why would my kid(s) have to take swimming lessons for school?”. I think that it is a valid question to ask. Why would kids go to the pool and play games when they could be at school learning something? Why would kids be going to the pool to learn how to swim during school time, when they can be signed up for swimming lessons outside of school? What are they learning from swimming lessons? What is the importance?
Being someone who has been in the school swimming lessons, and who is now teaching the school swimming lessons, I think that it is something that is very beneficial to students. The four main benefits I can think of are: it teaches basic life saving skills, it teaches basic swimming skills, it builds relationships, and it helps to build confidence. I think all of these are important because it can help the students learn what to do if they have to call for help, and learn what to do if they are in a water accident. I think it builds confidence because in the swimming lessons the instructors look at the area of strength that each student has, and finds ways to allow them to demonstrate that ability. The chance to attend swimming lessons in schools also provides a chance for those students who cannot take swimming lessons outside of school a chance to learn the basic abilities. The physical education curriculum and health education curriculum of Saskatchewan both have outcomes and indicators that can be taught through the use of swimming lessons. It provides the students with life skills, and physical activity.
The Lifesaving Society has a program that is now being done in the schools that is called the “Swim to Survive” program. The program’s purpose is to teach basic swimming ability in an attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. The program is primarily based in Ontario, but I think that it would be a great program to implement in schools all around Canada, and even in other parts of the world.
By incorporating swimming lessons into the class, students are learning how to stay safe in the water, and help other people stay safe as well.