Find out more about our fabulous team and their journey with Puddle Ducks...
The office Team
Joanna, Faye (Franchisee in the middle) & Lindsay
Senior Teacher, Baby and Pre School, Swim Academy & Elite Swim Academy Teacher
"When my little girl arrived, 10 years ago, I really wanted to go to baby swimming classes, it sounded fabulous. After starting with a different provider myself and another mum decided to move to Puddle Ducks who offered more flexibility within their classes and what a great decision we made. Faye (the franchisee) was our teacher and the classes were amazing, calm, relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. I went on to have another little one who started with Puddle Ducks at 4 weeks old and as my maternity leave started to come to an end I started to dread returning to my old job and dreamed of a job that was rewarding and fitted around my new family’s needs.
Faye was so approachable, and I expressed an interest in working for Puddle Ducks and instead of returning to my old job became a poolside assistant working with the lovely Sara and I quickly fell in love with the idea of becoming a teacher. As easy as the teachers make it look there is a lot to learn!! So a year after starting as a poolside assistant, 100 pool hours, 3 courses later and 1 very patient Sara, I passed my assessments and began to teach my own classes.
The Best job in the world. I was the envy of all my friends I had a job I loved!! (And still do) spending my mornings with tiny babies, toddlers developing their own personalities and full of beans pre schoolers, what’s not to love. Being a part of little one’s swimming journeys is a privilege, I love to see little ones splashing, kicking and blowing bubbles in the water without a care in the world just perfectly relaxed and happy to be there.
It wasn’t long before Faye decided that we needed to offer school age classes too, another 2 courses later and myself, Joanna and Kerry were ready for Swim Academy. No parents in the water eeekk, bigger personalities eeekk, but just as much fun and every bit as rewarding as our baby and preschool classes seeing the progress the swimmers make week in week out, seeing the confidence build in them makes me love the job more.
Then it was time for Elite Swim Academy, more courses, more hours in the pool (and an incident with my eyes that Joanna loves to remind me of to this day), and we were ready for the final stage of graceful swimming. It is the most amazing thing to watch the graceful, effortless swim of a Puddle Ducks child and to know you’ve helped and guided them.
Those who have been to my classes and my colleagues know that it doesn’t take much for me to tear up, a perfect 5m swim – tears, a perfectly in time face dip – tears, a child who blows bubbles after a rocky start to their swimming journey – tears, a child who’s swam with me since being little moving on to a swimming club – tears … the list is endless. I am seeing parents bringing their 2nd and 3rd children to us for lessons after bringing their 1st . It is our swimmers who make this job so special"
Baby and Pre School & Swim Academy Teacher
"I started my Puddle Ducks journey in 2010 when I took my daughter Imogen to Floaties. Our teacher was Faye, our franchisee, and I loved the lessons. I didn't find adapting to being a mummy particularly easy and Puddle Ducks was the one baby group I loved going to and kept going to even after my maternity leave finished.
When Alexander arrived in 2014, I already knew he would be a Puddle Duck and he took to it, as the saying goes, like a duck to water! (That's not to say every week was a breeze. I particularly remember one epic meltdown when I wouldn't let Alexander take his shoe in the swimming pool!)
I was a secondary school teacher and had become very disillusioned with the profession the thought of returning to my old job filled me with dread. It was while I was on maternity leave that I took voluntary redundancy from teaching and an opportunity arose to train with Puddle Ducks. I jumped at the chance and it has been the best decision I could have made.
I love seeing my customers make progress in whatever shape that takes. I don't underestimate how important all the smaller milestones are. Yes, the distance swims are hugely important and such a big achievement but just as important are the occassions where a nervous Little Dipper blows bubbles for the first time, or a Splasher puts their head down on my signal or the Kicker with additional needs who crawls across the float for the first time. I have the privilege of seeing other families swimming journeys and to help shape that experience and to equip children to stay safe in the water whilst having fun! I get to share the good times & the tricky times. I've smiled, laughed and even shed the odd tear with my customers. I truly believe that Puddle Ducks has the child at the centre of everything we do and that fits with my own values and is why I love it so much.
I feel beyond lucky to have been able to change my career, utilise my teaching skills in a different way and wake up each day and do a job that I love"
Baby and Pre School Teacher
"I started my Puddle Ducks Journey after I had met Faye at a Mothercare event. I was promoting my Baby Massage classes and Faye obviously Baby Swimming. I did baby swimming with both my boys, unfortunately Puddle Ducks wasn't in our area then. Both my boys love the water and now swim better than me. It was really important to my Husband and I that they both learn to swim and be safe around water and I loved the one to one time in the pool with each of them.
Since leaving school I having worked in an office doing the Financial side of businesses and didn't find it very exciting. In 2014 I trained to teach Baby Massage. I found I really enjoyed spending time and teaching parents and babies. So after a bereavement in January 2016, I decided I needed to do something else along with the Baby Massage. Teaching baby swimming seemed the ideal opportunity, so I contacted Faye to see what was required to train. Before I knew it I was booked onto my STA course and Puddle Ducks course and my Journey began. After months of training and co-teaching I qualified to teach my own classes in June 2016.
I love being in the pool with my little swimmers and their family members. Seeing the difference I am making and knowing I am teaching life saving skills is so rewarding. I feel so proud when my little swimmers achieve the smallest (blowing bubbles for the first time) to the biggest (5 metres) milestones. I am so glad I made the decision to become a preschool swimming teacher.
Keep making me smile little swimmers"
Baby and Pre School & Swim Academy Teacher
"I wanted to take my baby swimming as soon as she was able to. As a child I was a keen swimmer and had a love for the water that never really left me!
I googled baby swimming and Puddle Ducks came up. We went to our first class when my daughter was 8 weeks old. We arrived late and with the wrong nappy on, but after all that she was the most chilled out baby ever and we both absolutely loved it!
I made friends in the class and it soon became the highlight of the week.
At the time I had a job as a cleaner, which was just something to get back into work after having my daughter but it was unsatisfying and I knew I wanted more, I just wasn't sure what, as I wanted it to fit around family life!
I often thought I’d love to be a teacher of some kind however I felt I lacked the academic confidence to ever pursue anything like that!
When I saw that Puddle Ducks were looking for someone to meet and greet their customers at a school pool. I thought it would be a lovely job and much better than what I already had!
I met with Jo for an interview for the job, and I happened to mentioned that teaching would be something I would love to do. I am so pleased I did as she said we’re actually looking to train a new teacher. I really didnt think I could do it, as I didnt have any qualifications for the job. After chatting further about it I was in and thought I would give it a go. After the most intense rollercoaster of training co teaching and then assessments, 2 years down the line it is and was the best thing I have ever done!
I wear the uniform with pride and without a doubt I have the best job in the world!!
I love being a part of the Puddle Ducks family and I’m blessed that I get to do what’s enormousness amounts of fun! Long may it continue!! "
Baby and Pre School Teacher
"My Puddle Ducks journey started when my eldest daughter, Amira joined as a splasher. I had always been a confident swimmer and loved the water, so it was absolutely essential to me to start her swimming from a young age. She was and still is, such a water baby. Now, at age 4, she is loving Swim Academy and it is the highlight of her week. I have so many special memories in the pool (the odd challenging one!) with her, which I will treasure forever. I often get comments about her swimming ability and I was so proud when she achieved her 5 metres at 3 years old.
When my son, Jude was born, he followed in his sisters foot steps and was so calm and loved the water. He also started his lessons as a splasher too. Jude is a very very happy and smiley baby and even more so in his lessons. He loves to demonstrate and he loves being as splashy as possible. He thinks it is hilarious to sit on the float and laugh instead of jumping. Now a kicker, he is so confident and I love to take him each week.
To me, the swimming classes were so much more than a baby group, they were teaching our children a skill for life and also personal survival skills. I have never worried about holidays with either of my two as they have excellent discipline in and around the pool. They know how to enter the water safely and they know their boundaries.
When the teaching job became available I was on maternity leave with Jude and I just couldn’t resist applying. I knew how much I enjoyed the classes as a customer, I could only imagine how much fun it would be to be the teacher. Almost one year down the line since I was offered the job, and I haven’t looked back at all. The training was great fun, and I have met some really great people along the way. My colleagues are so supportive and we have a very good team.
I get to go to work, have so much fun, meet so many wonderful children and families and I really feel like I make a difference. It is the most rewarding job and every time I drive home from the pool, I always have this amazing adrenaline rush.
Some one once said to me, 'do what you love and love what you do', and that is absolutely right. I love my job, and I love teaching. A few customers have commented to me about how much I enjoy my job and the difference that makes for them. I am so passionate, encouraging and I have so much fun.
I trust that I will have a very long and wonderful career with Puddle Ducks as a teacher and I will continue to enjoy being a customer with my two children"
Baby and Pre School Teacher
"My Puddle Ducks journey started from being a customer when my daughter was 2 years old and my son was 3 months. Going swimming was the highlight of the week – although my daughter didn’t always agree with me! That one-on-one time was special. 5 years on and it has been wonderful seeing them progress and become more confident in the water and develop into the strong little swimmers they are today.
Seeing my children learn to swim has motivated me to become a swimming teacher. The training was intensive, I don’t think I’ve ever studied as much in my life, but it was something I really wanted to do and I wasn’t going to let a bit of hard work stand in my way. The practical training in the pool was hard and unnerving at times but the advice and support you get from the other teachers was amazing. They really are a brilliant team!
After a nerve-wracking assessment I was overjoyed to learn that I had passed and I got to teach my own Puddle Ducks classes. These classes are wonderful and so much fun. I look forward to my puddle ducks journey lasting for many years to come"
Baby & Pre-School Teacher
Baby and Pre School T
"Hi, I’m Steph! I had always been a keen swimmer and spent most of my early years upside down swimming for a local synchronised swimming club…but life got busy and I fell out of the habit, until my little boy was born 18 months ago. We started to go to the pool for a bit of fun and it reminded me just how much I enjoyed swimming. So we signed up as a Splasher for lessons with Puddle Ducks to learn some new moves in the water and both loved it. Its’s such a lovely way to spend some quality time with your baby and watching his water confidence grow and seeing how much he enjoyed the sessions has been such a joy. I wanted to become a Puddle Ducks Teacher to be able to share that experience with other babies too. I have run other workshops and classes in the past, but working with a group of babies in the water has to be one of my favourite things to run!"
Baby & Preschool Teacher - Training
"When I first moved to Barnsley I had a 2 year old that was terrified of swimming who stuck to me like glue when we were in the water. She’d been completely traumatised by an underwater photo shoot that we had with a different swim school in our home town. I kept taking her swimming to our local pool and before I knew it she was 4 and I was pregnant again.
I knew that this time I wanted to introduce my new baby to the water as soon as possible. When she was born and I started to feel a bit more human, I booked her in to Floaties with Puddle Ducks. She took to it straight away and I was always so proud of her and the progress that she was making. At this point I decided to enrol her big sister into Swim Academy, she was nervous but her teacher was amazing, supporting and challenging her - she’s just achieved her 5 metre badge.
Since I first started swimming with my baby I have had such a lot of love for Puddle Ducks. A year ago I was diagnosed with PND and anxiety. There were a good few months where the only thing I looked forward to was my swimming lesson with my baby. I could forget about everything, it was just me and her. Over a year on and taking her swimming is still the highlight of my week. Although I now have so much more to look forward to, training to be a Puddle Ducks teacher for one!
I’ve been a science teacher for 11 years one thing that I have always loved about my job is my students and knowing that I have made a positive impact on their lives. When I made the decision to leave teaching, I knew that I would really miss this and that I would need to fill that hole. I have always been a confident swimmer, I love the Puddle Ducks way and I’m a teacher- training to be a puddle ducks teacher is a perfect fit for me. I hope that I’ll help develop a life-long love of swimming for lots of children and that their parents will share my love for Puddle Ducks.”
Swim Academy & Aquanatal Teacher
"I wanted to do a rewarding job, and what better job than teaching children a skill for life.
I contacted Faye in January 2016, which was perfect timing as she was looking for a Swimming Teacher for older children. I went along to Greenacre Pool to watch the classes and have an interview. Seeing the swimmers “pancake” was mesmerising, I instantly fell in love with the possibility of being a Swim Teacher, I knew this Role was for me and I needed to do whatever it took to become the next Puddle Ducks Teacher.
It was an intense Course but the most fun you could have whilst becoming a Qualified Teacher.
I love teaching the classes its the most amazing, rewarding job seeing the swimmers go from their 1st ever class to becoming elegant swimmers. Knowing I have taught them the skills they put in to practice to be a confident swimmer whilst having fun is just wonderful"
Swim Academy Teacher
"I was on maternity leave when I first witnessed a BPS class. I remember getting home & saying to my family that my face hurt from smiling! I immediately knew that it was the job for me. I was welcomed in to the Puddle Ducks family & in time with hard work, lots of training & support I passed my assessment. I taught BPS for some time before training as an Swim Academy (SA) teacher. In time my confidence & knowledge grew & I was successful in my application for a senior teacher role.
I have had a break from teaching & recently returned as a SA teacher only. My reason for returning is simple, I missed it greatly. I can not describe the gratification you get from this job! It truly is so unbeliably rewarding.
I have so much fun in classes & it is all thanks to our amazing little Puddle Ducks. They are the reason that my job is such a joy. I feel privileged to be teaching this essential life skill & witness such beautiful progression & confidence building in every class. In all honestly they have taught me as much as I have them, how to be super patient, understanding, supportive & most importantly to teach each & everyone of them as individuals.
If you ever see me crying it's tears of pride & joy. You invest in your swimmers & care for their journey as their journey is also mine"
Poolside Assistant & Lifesaving trained
Poolside Assistant & Lifesaving trained
I have worked at Puddle Ducks for nearly 4 years and I started as my nephew use to swim with Puddle Ducks from being a floatie (He is now 7!!)
In my spare time I like to read, spend time with my family and my cats ( I have turned into a crazy cat lady!haha)
My favourite Puddle Duck song is Peter Rabbit and my favourite activity is dippers rolling off the float.