A very special Teacher Feature today from Chrissie Parris aka “The Boss”!
Why did you become a swimming teacher?
I became a swimming teacher after being a stay at home mum for a number of years. I wanted to be around for my boys until school age, but then found myself out of touch with not being in the workplace. I had picked up masters swimming again as a way of keeping fit so it seemed like a natural progression. So, when my youngest started full time school, I did my Bronze Medallion, followed by my National Pool Lifeguard and then went straight on to do my ASA Level 1 and 2 swimming teacher courses.
How long have you been teaching swimming?
I first qualified as a swimming teacher in 1991. It didn’t all go ”swimmingly” to start with, as it was quite difficult to get work other than cover. There were not the pools around then that there are now either, and most teaching was through local authorities rather than private sector. Due to the lack of work at the time and personal circumstances, I trained in beauty therapy and practiced for 9 years in local salons. It was fate, the old “one door closes and another one opens” scenario that got me back teaching, and I do believe it was my destiny!
What’s the best thing about being a swimming teacher?
The best thing about being a swimming teacher is that it is the most fulfilling and rewarding job I have ever done. I never get out of bed in the morning and not want to go to work. As teachers, we are in a very privileged position in that we are entrusted by parents whose children we teach, and adults too, to be part of their journey in learning to swim.
What’s your favourite swimming stroke, and why?
During my competitive years my strongest strokes were Breaststroke and Backstroke. I used to particularly enjoy swimming an Individual Medley in competition too, because as they were my best strokes, I used to catch-up on the rest of the field, giving me a shot at doing better in a race. These are often the strokes least liked by other swimmers. My knees are a bit dodgy these days, so I generally swim Frontcrawl.
What is your favourite class to teach at the moment?
It would be fair to say that I love teaching all of my classes whether groups or 1-2-1’s. No two people are alike and no two groups are alike. If forced to pick it would probably be my baby and Pre-school classes because I love singing and make songs up to encourage swimming/floating actions from them. It’s amazing to see their progression. I also love teaching adults as it often takes a lot to get them near a pool, especially if they have had a bad experience. The delight in their achievements is second to none!
Tell us something about your hobbies?
When I’m not teaching the gym is a very big part of my life. I love to spin, so do 3-4 classes a week, I also have personal training and enjoy pilates too. Swimming is generally my holiday work-out these days, mainly because of the number of hours I spend in and around the pool. I also going to the Cinema, (secretly because of the Baskins & Robbins Ice-cream), and I love a good dance and a dabble on the Karaoke given half a chance! I am extremely sociable and love spending time in the company of others.
I hope you enjoyed reading this!
Chrissie teaches parent & child, and pre-school classes at the Village hotel in Cheadle on Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings.