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Teacher of the Term - Spring 2018

Who is your Teacher of the Term?

We are delighted to announce that our fantastic teacher Rebecca Edwardson has won our Teacher of the Term award for Spring 2018.

The winning nomination was picked by Shirley Towle, the owner of the Family Grapevine in Nottinghamshire, a local magazine for parents from pregnancy to teenagers. It was a hard job for Shirley to choose a winner as there was so much to choose from. Each nomination we received shows how fantastic our teachers are and that they are so passionate about what they do and as Shirley quite rightly said: “If I was a teacher then I would be thrilled to get any of these nominations!”.

Thank you so much to Amy (and Cerys) who sent the winning nomination in and here it is:-

I would like to nominate Rebecca who teaches at Portland Centre for:

  • Always having a smile for the children and making the lessons fun.
  • Always being positive, warm and kind.
  • Adapting seemingly effortlessly to each child’s individual needs, whilst being consistent and offering each child in the class the opportunity to experience every activity.
  • Building confidence, always ensuring the child feels supported and secure, whilst offering opportunities for the child to accept the next challenge when they are ready.
  • And just being lovely – my daughter adores her.
  • A highly skilled teacher, the best I have come across.

We had lots of other fantastic nominations, all of which are detailed below. They all speak volumes about our teachers and the work that they do with the parents and children who swim with us.  All of our teachers at Puddle Ducks train for over 300 hours before they can become an accredited Puddle Ducks teacher so you can be confident that your little ones are in very safe hands! 

Well done Rebecca as this is very well deserved and we hope that you all enjoy reading the nominations that we received:

Emma Richardson:

Please find attached my nomination for Emma, Sabai’s teacher. I have written an acrostic poem for her:  

- Enthusiastically Emma will always welcome Sabai into her class every week. She makes her lessons:

- Manageable and meaningful every week with her positive words of encouragement

- Motivating her students while she sings songs as she teaches 

- An accomplishment is teaching lifesaving skills through swimming. 

 Thank you Emma! 

 Nominated by Deena


Nikola Nascimento:

George and I would like to nominate Nikola at The Key Health Club for Teacher of the Term. George has just moved up from Floaties to Splashers and really enjoys his lessons. Nikola is enthusiastic and her instructions are clear and concise. Lessons are both informative and fun. The pace of the lessons is just right - not too slow or fast. Nikola is encouraging and supportive and has given me the confidence to take George swimming. Thank you Nikola!

Nominated by Holly

I would like to nominate Nikola at The Key Health Club. Nikola is great with both our kids, we have a 4 year old and a 1 year old who swim in her lessons. Our 4 year old has been coming to the lessons since he was 3 months old and he’s learnt to swim with her... when he swam a width of the pool holiday in the autumn, the first thing he said was “I must tell Nikola I did it!”

Our 1 year old has taken to the pool in quite the same way despite having had lessons now for 6 months. Despite some times crying through the whole of the lesson Nikola is patient with him and reassures us as parents that it’s ok. Nikola is fab!

Nominated by Sarah

I'd also like to nominate Nikola as best swimming teacher. She is really good and gentle with the little babies doing guided submersions and brilliant with the older ones too with her boundaries and expectations. She's always happy to teach and having known her in lessons for a few years now, she is a brilliant teacher.

Nominated by Hannah

Please find my nomination for Nikola - We attended another Puddle Ducks class & needed to do a catch up, this is where we met Nikola & we were so happy with our catch up lesson we swapped classes so we could have her on a regular basis. She is friendly to both the children & adults, approachable to all parents & personally we feel she really knows Erin. She explains the activities well & offers support/advice if required. 

We look forward to our lessons each week & have definitely noticed on a recent holiday that Erin is growing in confidence when playing in the water! 

Nominated by Imogen

I nominate Nikola, and there are so many reasons why. She's always so happy to meet the children, and makes sure everyone is happy throughout their lesson. If someone gets upset she's straight there praising and encouraging them individually. I’ve been on many catch up lessons with different teachers and I still find Nikola to be the best!

She always makes little jokes to make us laugh and helps you overcome worries and their wobbles, she's helped us so so much and were amazed at how much our child’s confidence has grown. If it wasn't for Nikola we probably would have given up. 

Nominated by Susanna

Louise Gillott:

My nomination for Teacher of the Term is for Louise Gillott. She teaches both my boys (the eldest from 6 months) and the youngest from birth. She always goes out of her way to accommodate them both if they are not keen on joining in and always manages to make them feel at ease. She has brought them both on so much and the confidence they have in the water is all thanks to her. They look forward to seeing her every week and love their lessons with her. I nominate Louise every time because I truly want her to win this as I think, as do many other parents that she is so deserving of it.

Nominated by Kirsty

My nomination for Teacher of the Term is Louise Gillott. It has only been a few weeks since she took over teaching us at DW Mansfield but my little boys swimming has come on tremendously. She personally takes the time to understand each child's needs and works on them individually.  You are not just a number, she really makes you feel she cares and I have never enjoyed going so much and neither has my son Isaac.

Nominated by Sara

I would like to nominate Louise for Teacher of the year, Louise is his third puddle ducks teacher, and in the few weeks teaching him he’s progressed immensely. She takes a real interest in each child, pushing them where needed, & does not let him get away with being lazy! Her style is supportive, fun but fair!  She’s has a very encouraging attitude, which works brilliantly with the toddlers! Previous teachers showed very little interest in my son as an individual, Louise knew him by name straight away, interacts with him, she’s the only swim teacher he happily goes to & follows her instruction & lead. As a parent she’s helped me push him further, not realising I wasn’t, but leading by example the way she does is fantastic. Thank you!

Nominated by Will and Cher

I would like to nominate Louise at DW Fitness Mansfield. I booked Floaties lessons for my daughter to go with her Dad as he was back at work and felt like he was missing out on precious time with her. They have both absolutely loved the lessons. I have taken our daughter when my husband has been unable to make it due to work, I was really nervous for my first lesson with her, but Louise gave me encouragement and confidence with my daughter in the water. She seemed to understand what I was happy doing with her without asking me, she gives me and the other parents so much confidence in the water through positivity and her proactive style. And although she doesn’t know me, we’ve only been attending for 8 weeks, for that half an hour she makes me feel like a good Mum. Thank you.

Nominated by Amy

I would like to nominate Louise from DW Fitness in Mansfield. She is a fantastic swimming instructor who gives feedback to the children and parents. I would recommend her class to others to get the best experience with Puddle Ducks. My son has come on so much in the water and I thank Louise for that. 

Nominated by Kimberley

We are nominating Louise Gillott. I have 2 boys, 1 in Little Dippers and 1 in Floaties. She is so patient with everyone and puts any new people at ease. Nothing is too much. She makes that class the day after your child (the oldest one) hasn’t slept the night before when he's playing up and doesn't want to anything a whole lot easier! Watching our eldest child's confidence grow in water is amazing and that’s down to Louise.

You are a fab teacher and we thank you!

Nominated by Faye

Karen Daykin:

I'd like to nominate Karen at The Key Health Club for Teacher of the Term. She is always positive, enthusiastic and does an amazing job of knowing everyone's names and abilities. She's helped both our kids progress their swimming so much and often asks after our eldest, who's now in Swim Academy with a different instructor.

Nominated by Alex

I would like to nominate Karen (The Key Health Club) as our Teacher of the Term. I remember meeting Karen for the first time when she took a couple of our classes as a teacher in training, she was lovely and nervous! Move on several months or more and our teacher, Rebecca, moved on from Keyworth, and Karen stepped in to look after us all! She had a tough job as many of us had been with Rebecca for years - but she more than filled the gap! As much as I've loved seeing my little one learn to swim, it's been equally fab seeing Karen become a brilliant swimming teacher. She's supported my little one through all the tantrums. And there's nothing Freya likes more than giving Karen a huge grin and a hug at the end of every lesson, and there’s always a race to get to hold Karen’s hand during the welcome song!

Nominated by Keely

I’d like to nominate Karen, for no specific reason, other than she is a brilliant teacher.  She is always joyful and welcoming and puts all the children at ease.  She gets to know their individual foibles and is able to coax and coach anyone who is feeling a bit reticent, or to calm down those who might get a little over-excited! Karen oozes confidence and expertise and it is fun to be part of her class.

Nominated by Jo

Ashley Robinson:

I would like to nominate our teacher Ashley. I suffer with severe anxiety over Milly, my daughter as I worry about absolutely everything! I myself hate swimming but Ashley has helped me so much to actually trust myself and Milly in the water. She's so kind and friendly and makes me feel so happy and at ease. I look forward to our lessons every week! Love this lady so much! Thank you for helping us Ashley! We really appreciate it x

Nominated by Lucie

Nicola Walters:

My little boy Harlan currently attends a Splashers class at Every Sensation.  The class is run by Nicola who has helped Harlan come on tremendously with his swimming. Nicola is absolutely amazing with the babies and has a very calm, informative and professional approach.

Harlan started in Floaties at the age of 6.5months with some previous swimming experience and it was clear that he needed to move up classes. Nicola adapted Harlan’s class until a space became free. This made us feel like Harlan’s development wasn’t being compromised. 

My partner (Phil) and I rotate on going in the water with Harlan. Phil was very anxious about submerging Harlan at first however Nicola helped him relax and built his confidence doing this. 

With Nicola’s help, support, kindness and happiness we as a family really enjoy attending swimming and look forward to it all week. This is why we would like to nominate Nicola.

Nominated by Amanda

Jayne Ascott:

I’d like to nominate Jayne, who teachers my daughters class at Rainbows in Loughborough.  She’s nothing short of amazing!! Always full of energy, enthusiasm and makes every lesson a fun way of learning for both the children and parents. She knows all of the children in the class and takes time to recognise all of their progress. 

Nominated by Jade

My nomination is for Jayne who teaches my daughter Minnie in Swim Academy at The Key Health Club.

Minnie has been at Swim Academy for just one term and she has come along so much & I feel that Jayne has really helped her settle in & reach her full potential. I also admire her patience and attention to every child in the class. Thank you!

Nominated by Rachel

I would like to nominate Jayne as she is wonderful!!  She puts all us Mummy’s at ease, makes us laugh while remaining professional. The classes are fun and I have confidence & trust in her. She is brilliant with the children! My little boy isn't always very confident but she always has time to reassure him and try different ways to encourage him....without making me feel embarrassed for disrupting the class.

It's a joy to attend her class and we always look forward to going. My little boy doesn't always take to new people easily but he loves Jayne. It's not very often we take time to thank people and we're always very quick to complain...but no complaints here, only praise.  You have a fantastic teacher in Jayne.' 

Nominated by Frances

Rachel Clewes:

I’d like to nominate Rachel at Momentum Sheffield- she has been really brilliant with all the kids.

She always makes time for some 1-1 in each class and our daughter loves her. Rachel is incredibly patient and always gives praise to every child - which is so encouraging for them 😄

Nominated by Helen

We would like to nominate Rachel who teaches at Momentum in Sheffield on Monday mornings as Teacher of the Term as she has been truly excellent when teaching our daughter and the rest of her class.

We decided to start Amelia's swimming lessons when she was around one and half years as before that time Amelia hated going in the bath so didn't want to cause her distress by going in a swimming pool. When we brought Amelia to Rachel’s lesson, Rachel was wonderful with her and showed her there was nothing to be scared off and since that day Amelia has become more and more confident in the water and loves all the songs and actions and loves jumping in the pool.

Before going swimming Amelia was quite a shy and reserved child and since beginning swimming lessons with Rachel she has blossomed into a very happy, chatty and clever little girl.

Amelia was recently diagnosed with Lazy Eye due to extreme long sightedness in her right eye and since informing Rachel of this she has offered more support to Amelia by making eye contact when speaking to her and making sure Amelia can see her and understand her when giving instructions. Rachel also makes the effort to speak with us before the lessons to see how Amelia's treatment is going.

Nominated by Jenna

Here are the other nominations that Rebecca received:

I would like to nominate Rebecca who teaches at DW Nottingham on Mondays. Rebecca is such a brilliant swimming teacher and my daughter loves her lessons. Her teaching style has improved my daughter's (and my confidence!) when we come swimming.  We always look forward to our lessons as Rebecca keeps us motivated and laughing. My daughter can be reluctant or hesitant in some activities and Rebecca is excellent at reading the situation, knowing exactly when to support my daughter to give it her best shot or to suggest something else. Building confidence and skills is something she achieves with ease and professionalism. A worthy candidate :-) 

Nominated by Angie

Isabelle and I would like to nominate Rebecca for swimming Teacher of the Term as she is a fantastic swimming teacher and has taught Isabelle for a long time!

Rebecca is a great and very experienced swimming teacher who obviously loves her job greatly as it comes across each lesson! She is very good at knowing how to get the best out of each child, so they can achieve their potential!

Each class Isabelle loves and so do all the other children. She really is a great teacher who is also kind and lovely!

Nominated by Julie Ann

I would like to vote for Rebecca who teaches my son Maddox on Thursday at The Key Health Club. Maddox is only 3 and has recently achieved his 5m and I really don’t think he could have done this without Rebecca’s support and encouragement, it has given him a lot of confidence now he has his 5m certificate! Thank you!

Nominated by Rachel

I would like to nominate the WONDERFUL Rebecca from The Key Health Club. She teaches both of my children, I am her first lesson at 10 o'clock and her last lesson at 6 o'clock. Rebecca is always on excellent form; happy, friendly positive and upbeat no matter what time of the day!

She has numerous techniques that she uses with the Little Dippers children depending on what mood they have arrived in, she quickly adapts and alters each task/activity to meet the differentiated need of the child. Praise and encouragement is quickly given whenever she spots something a child is doing well, no matter how little the steps of progression are. I also always appreciate her advice and support when my children are tentative about doing something.

Nominated by Vicky

I’d like to nominate Rebecca from The Key Health Club. Nomination as follows:

We’ve had lessons with Rebecca since Grace was 3 months old. During that time Grace has had a number of wobbles, including spending at least 4 or 5 lessons crying and refusing to let go of me. Rebecca was so reassuring that it was a phase and we pushed through and now Grace is back to enjoying her Puddle Ducks lessons. Even helping Rebecca run the class at times!! We even changed our lesson days so that we could stick with Rebecca.

Nominated by Joanna

We would like to nominate Rebecca for the Teacher of the Term. The reason is is that she is always so friendly and smiling!!! Our Son, Daniel has started swimming classes in January 2017 with Rebecca and Alison (Lewis-Dale). He loved it from the first minute! Due to my complicated ankle fracture (two operations and then recovery), Daniel was a little bit upset because we usually practiced what Daniel been taught in a leisure pool, but couldn't do it for a little bit of time. We feel that classes are too short (knowing that 30 mins of learning is enough for that age), as children enjoy them so much. No minute is wasted and I love how Rebecca encourages children’s behaviour & action in water, she is not "allowing" them to have any doubts or thoughts that they are not able to do what is in the programme.

She approaches children the way they feel safe and strong, she explains everything and answers all their questions. She has got charisma and children love to follow her. I like the way she has done the 5m & 10m "exam" - class has started "as normal" and then she just made an impression that this is usual exercise, then she has congratulated the children for their achievement! Daniel was so amazed, happy, I have got no words to describe it! He felt so strong and now he can't wait for his Sunday class. We are nominating Rebecca for her hard work, charisma and "infecting" children with courage and a love to swim. At this point, we would like to thank Rebecca for everything she has done for Daniel and us, parents.

Nominated by Malgorzata