From Texas To Thailand #6 PADI IDC
What do you think of when you hear the term Dive Instructor? Maybe you are thinking of a diving professional that is qualified to teach scuba. Maybe you think of a nice little island with beautiful beaches. Perhaps you think of a beach bum with a crazy hairstyle that goes diving for a living. To be honest, before I started diving, these are some of the things that would pop into my mind when thinking about a professional dive instructor. However, after submerging myself into this industry, I got a better idea of what it means to hold the status of a PADI dive instructor. Living/working in beautiful places, being an explorer, and meeting new people; these were just a few of the many reasons why I then set my sights on taking it to the next level and becoming an instructor.
First comes the Instructor Development Course (IDC). It is a fourteen-day crash course to prepare you for the IE or Instructor Exams. I had heard stories of the IDC being quite challenging, but I didn’t realize how challenging it would actually turn out to be. Two weeks of doing things like classroom presentations, doing workshops in the pool, conducting ocean skills etc. All the while trying to not curl up in the corner in the fetal position and cry from the stress of it. However, even though it was tough in all aspects, I found the course to be rewarding way beyond my expectations. After the IDC comes the Instructor Examination day. In my mind I viewed this day to something similar as “Judgement Day”. Everything that I had done, everything that I had sacrificed was boiled down to the day of the IE. The night before the exams, I stayed up in my condo pacing around reading my instructor manual.
As the sun started to rise I was sat there staring at my alarm clock waiting for it to go off. We got to the hotel where the IE was being conducted and went into a meeting room where we would take our exams. I started to feel a little better when our examiner greeted us with a big smile and a handshake. After exams was pool work. After everyone completed the pool work, then we were taken to a boat. Here we would be examined on teaching in the ocean. The scariest part about the whole thing was the ocean because we were at the mercy of mother nature. We went down, did the skills, and then gathered back on the boat. The Examiner then sat us all down, and one by one we all got the famous PADI handshake as well as a congratulation. I could physically feel my body fill with joy. You know that feeling you got as a kid; waking up Christmas morning to find the bike you have wanted so bad for so long sitting by the tree? Yeah well combine that with every birthday and multiply by 100. That’s how I felt. I was officially a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. I am still living the dream to this day and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!