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National Star Teacher, Winter 2023

Congratulations to Heather Manley from Puddle Ducks Chester, Wirral & North Wales!

Heather was nominated by Esme's mummy Laura, and this is what she had to say:

“I would like to nominate Heather as our Star Teacher! She has been teaching Esme who has hearing loss for the past few years and she is so in tune with Esme's needs. Obviously in the pool Esme can't wear her hearing aids which in an often noisy environment puts her at quite a disadvantage but thanks to Heather's attention to detail she has never struggled in the pool, in fact she loves swimming and is confident and progressing well.

Heather always ensures that Esme can see her face clearly while she's speaking to her, reinforces her words with consistent gestures, and is very good at picking up when Esme hasn't been able to understand instructions. She then reiterates the instructions but in a way that doesn't highlight to the rest of the class that Esme has struggled to understand.

Not only is she an excellent teacher in classes each week, she has also gone above and beyond to support Esme recently as she received swimming lessons in school for the first time by writing a short report for us to take to the school so that their swimming instructors were aware of Esme's ability and the techniques that she uses to support Esme during lessons. This was a huge help to the school and enabled Esme to get the most out of those lessons too.

Heather is always approachable and happy to speak to us, and is very friendly. She has taught our older son on occasion too, and over the past few years has got to know us as a family, and was so excited for us last year when we welcomed our younger son. She is an excellent teacher, a lovely person, and a real credit to Puddle Ducks! Thank you Heather, our Star Teacher no matter what!

The nomination was chosen by Rick Lynch, co-owner of Brace Digital, the agency that build Puddle Ducks' website. Here’s what Rick said about the nomination:

"After a thorough 'deep dive' of all the nominations for Star Teacher, I am bowled over by the number of fantastic entries for all of your brilliant swimming teachers – it’s been such a difficult decision!

Reading all of the entries shows what an asset all of the swimming teachers are to Puddle Ducks and makes me realise, where you say, “it takes someone very special to become a Puddle Ducks swimming teacher” - this is obviously very true.

I chose the winning entry because it is clear that this teacher goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that Esme is well supported during swimming lessons – even going the extra mile writing a report to ensure that Esme can seamlessly swim in another lesson at school. As a parent to 3 young children myself, I recognise the significance of somebody taking the time to know, understand and care. In this instance, it is evident that this teacher is an ambassador for this mantra and shows just how much her passion and commitment shines through."

  • More about Brace Digital

    More about Brace Digital

    I’m Rick Lynch and I’m one of the owners of Brace Digital, a digital agency which specialises in website support and maintenance and we have been working with Puddle Ducks since 2016.

    Brace Digital specialise in a particular content management system (Umbraco) and we’ve been building beautiful, feature rich websites and providing website support with quick response times since 2015.

    There are 4 areas to our business:

    • Website support & maintenance
    • Website development
    • Website health checks
    • Website hosting

    Our Values are very important to the success of our business:

    • We support & delight
    • Only the best will do
    • Honesty is the best policy
    • Keep it simple
    • Be human
    • Be expert & informed

    If you’d like to know more about what we do, please get in touch.

    Learn more
  • Becoming a Puddle Ducks teacher

    Becoming a Puddle Ducks teacher

    It is no surprise that baby swimming teachers are constantly smiling. Their lives are full of happy parents, babies and toddlers, giggles and smiles.

    Find out more about doing the best job in the world!

    Read more

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