Twelve sailors from many different locations flocked to Chautauqua Institution in late May for a four-day course to achieve their Level 1 Small Boat Instructor Certifications for on- and off-water instruction.
Much like schoolteachers have to go through extensive training in order to receive all of their proper certifications, so must sailing instructors. During these courses, it is crucial that the students not only learn proper on-water safety techniques, get vital hands-on time with small boats and understand important procedures, but also find new efficient, creative ways to teach this knowledge to others.
According to the course directors, some of the most important aspects of being a sailing instructor really have nothing to do with sailing at all. Public speaking and lesson planning and following skills can be just as necessary to being the best instructor possible.
Instructor courses such as this help to endow the future of Chautauqua Institution’s sailing program. Through this program, the Institution now has eight U.S. Sailing certified instructors. As the program draws to a close, all of the participants are now armed with the training, skills and passion for sailing to pass the knowledge down to the next generation of U.S., and Chautauquan, sailors.
The John R. Turney Sailing Center at the Institution aims to make instructor trainings an annual event, while potentially adding in a Level 2 Instructor Training course in the near future.