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A Week in the Life of Puddle Ducks' Technical Director - Part 1

Ali Beckman is Puddle Ducks' Technical Director and Head Teacher, and she is one of the country’s leading experts in swimming teaching.

Puddle Ducks turned 15 in October and Ali (who was a competitive swimmer in her youth, and has always loved being in the water) was the company’s very first employee, joining as a swimming teacher in March 2005. By December of that year she was writing her first set of lesson plans for the newly launched Dabblers class and then started writing the first teaching manual and lesson plans for other programmes shortly after.

Over the next seven weeks, we’ll be sharing with you a week in the life of Ali, focusing on one day per week. We’ll be learning about what she does on a day to day basis and how she spends her (rare) time relaxing.

Day One – Saturday
It’s an early start for me today – I’m flying up to Edinburgh to visit franchisee Carolyn Sharpe.  Carolyn is the franchisee for the North East and has been successfully running her business there for the past seven years. She has recently launched in South East Scotland and today is her first annual technical visit (ATV).  All our franchisees have these visits; they are really important to ensure that teaching standards are being maintained, documentation such as certificates, insurance and important PSOPs (Pool Safety Operating Procedures) are also up to date.  It allows us to give support in the field from anything to do with teaching, business, marketing and general franchise advice. 

So I arrived at Edinburgh airport around 9:30am and was met by Carolyn.  We visited a local café went through some paperwork, then visited a lovely little school pool in Abbeyhill so I could observe Lisa, one of her teachers.  We spent a couple of hours at the pool before relocating to another café to discuss Lisa’s teaching (which was excellent) and to continue with some paperwork before Lisa joined us for feedback.  At 6:45pm we finally left Scotland for the long drive to Newcastle for an ATV there, and at 9.30pm I checked in and crashed out.

You can follow Ali on Twitter here:

  • Teaching with Puddle Ducks

    Teaching with Puddle Ducks

    We’re always on the lookout for hard workers with a love of water and children, who care enough about giving babies and children a gift of complete freedom and pleasure in the water, and want to give them something that is both a skill for life and a life-saving skill.

    Find out more about becoming a Puddle Ducks teacher.

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  • Franchising with Puddle Ducks

    Franchising with Puddle Ducks

    Just like the children we teach, a Puddle Ducks’ franchise is completely unique. It’s an investment that allows you to do something you love and turn it into a profitable business.

    All of our franchisees start off teaching in the water, so they can fully immerse themselves in the product and truly understand their customers.  But ultimately, the aim is for you to manage a team of teachers, taking ownership of your own territory.

    We’ll be there to help every step of the way. It’s up to you how quickly you go from dipping your toes in to diving in at the deep end.

    Find out more about franchising with Puddle Ducks.

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