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Do we need instructors?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by gcbryan, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. theduckguru

    theduckguru Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: USA
    999
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    WOW! I hope some apologize for tugging on supermans cape.

    Once upon a time a couple of bicycle builders not only learned how to fly, an activity much more difficult to learn than scuba, they invented the plane they learned in. Neither of the brothers had would be considered highly educated for their time or today. Surprisingly, the first aviation injury was not from a crash by the non trained pilots, it was from the mechanical failure of a propeller while the plane was firmly sitting on the ground.

    I taxi an airplane to the fuel pump and nobody asks to see my pilots license because everyone believes I know what I am doing.

    At the dive shop, I have to produce a non-governmentally issued certification card to buy air because no one believes you know what you are doing?

    I wonder why the guy selling avgas doesn't worry about unlicensed people flying with his fuel in the tanks as much as the dive shop does about uncertified divers diving with their air in the tanks?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  2. I Dive

    I Dive Divemaster

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Pinellas Park, FL
    1,190
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    Who is requiring you to get air from a dive shop? You can buy your own compressor and bypass the "rip off". Heck, you can probably rig up a bicycyle pump to fill your tanks if you really want to. That shop is a private business and it has the right to require anything it wants before selling you a product or service. In exchange, you have the right to not do business there. If the requirement to buy air from them irritates you, then stop buying air from them.
     
  3. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

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    As there have been several different perspectives discussed already, I will try a different approach. I will suggest that every (or possibly even most) SCUBA Instructors don't teach in a manner in which they believe is the best way to approach diver education. I cannot by any means state this emphatically, but I do make this suggestion based upon my associations with diving professionals over the years. It's common to hear complaints from Instructors that they are rushed in training programs and many try to help student outside of the LDS time-frames given.

    I'm confident that the same is true for most occupations. Once you work within any industry you quickly fall prey to the demands of customers, owners & supervisors of the company you work for, as well as your peers.

    I believe it's fair to say that most diving instruction is undertaken today by the LDSs. This is a for-profit organization; in-fact many divers are certified through a diver certification organization that is also for-profit. A good number of SCUBA Instructors that are certifying divers today do so by making money. It's obvious that money is a major factor.

    In-fact I believe that it's the Dollar that is driving diving instruction today and profit/loss is what is the principle driver of diver training and not safety. I'm not saying that safety is not a consideration, but it is not the primary consideration that it use to be.

    Regardless of how many Instructors may feel, the LDS plans the majority of its programs on minimum standards. It's only my opinion, but I don't accept that these same minimums are acceptable to the majority of Instructors. If they were, the situation would be worse than it is. I also will go as far as to state that many of these standards are inadequate, but again that's only one person's opinion.

    As it has been pointed-out, there are several areas where people learn through mentorship. Can a person learn to dive safely by being trained by a non-Instructor? Yes, but that depends upon the knowledge of the mentor, his/her instructional ability and their diving experience. Would this be in-fact preferable (from an educational perspective) than going to a local dive store and taking a weekend wonder program? Quite possibly.

    So we have various ingredients required to bake the diver certification cake. That said, where does a person get trained? Well I suppose it depends....

    I have learned more through other divers, hyperbaric physicians, co-workers and experience than through formal training. Would I have been in a position to learn without formal training? No.

    There is clearly a benefit to both.
     
  4. kosap1

    kosap1 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    35
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    You bring up a very good point. In my past classes my divemaster class was the class that prepared my in water control, presentation of skills and similar activities. My instructor class, while it was very heavy into the same skills, it prepared me to actually present and "teach" the material to students.

    I think that even if you are going to be a mentor for something such as scuba you should still have to go through a similar class to learn how to teach. Then aren't we moving from a mentor title to an instructor title.


    To: Paladin954

    There is so much to your post that I have a problem with. If you truly feel that way why do you dive?

    What about more advanced classes such as a rescue diver certification. I don't care if you have a card or not but if you are going to be in a situation to save your buddy or someone else I believe that you should be properly trained. Or what if you are the best diver on the planet and you go diving with an "average" diver as a buddy. Would you want them to be self taught or mentor taught or would you want them to have some sort of standardized training which could possible come in handy when you get into trouble.

    If you truly have that many problems with the scuba industry and instructors and anyone else that you would like to bash, I do not believe you should be a part of the sport.

    Now also to Paladin954; I totally agree with you that some instructors and dive shops are here for money. It's business lets be honest, everyone wants to eat at night. However there are some instructors that teach for the money, dive shops that run "puppy mills" for instructor classes. I did not go through one of those, I am not here for the money. As I said before I would like to make enough money to cover my necessities, but I can assure you that working as a scuba instructor is not a "substantial" part of my income. I think that generally you do make some good points however the presentation (which is taught in an instructor class) of your thoughts is not the best that it could be.

    Ok thats all, Paladin954.


    This is somewhat of a personal subject for me because I try to be the best instructor that I can be. I am afraid that some people reading this who aren't certified yet may think that they can go learn from a friend or somewhere else. This whole idea of self regulation exists to stop things like that from happening. I tend to be a very safety minded individual and I think that if you are going to be teaching or "mentoring" (if you like that word better) people to scuba dive you need to be trained in not only how to teach, but what to look for when it comes to students doing something the wrong way, and more importantly how to handle an emergency.

    I have had students in the past who have learned the basics from a friend or family member. That is great; however, from a safety standpoint I do not like it. I am very glad that you somewhat know how to dive when you come to my class but I would rather you know very little so that I can teach you correctly the first time rather than trying to correct already learned mistakes. This is one of the laws of learning I believe. I think its the law of Primacy, that which is learned first is most easily remembered. I want to be the one to teach the information the first time.
     
  5. leapfrog

    leapfrog Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: 40Žº 34'N -3Žº 55'W
    851
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    Dale,

    For whatever reasons, our paths have not crossed before on Scubaboard. So let me clarify a few things for you.

    1. I read other people's posts. Even the people that I sometimes have a difference of opinion with know that, as they also know that I am prepared to modify or change my point of view, if I am convinced by the other party's arguments.
    2. I don't feel that I, as an individual, am being attacked. I think that there are some people putting forward a case with which I don't agree as a generality.
    3. I don't have knee jerk reactions. Again, you are verging on being rude. I consider the case in hand, I look at other peoples statements and I put forward my case.
    4. I believe in freedom of speech. Many people living in other societies don't have that privilege. As a defender of free speech, I believe that Scubaboard is a wonderful example of "a new medium" and the only times I get angry is when I think somebody is trying to censor or stack the cards here. So no, I don't want a board comprised of voices exactly like mine. But I do want people to have an informed opinion and I expect us all to agree that we may disagree.
    5. I think you are mistaken. I am not defending instructors as a whole. I am supporting the argument "Instructors are necessary" in opposition to the thesis "Mentors can do it as well or better". It's only a debate, Dale. It may be heated but there is nothing wrong with being passionate about what we believe in.
    6. Burnout. You brought the subject up when you said:
    My take on burnout is that a professional recognises when they are burning out, they take steps to deal with it, maybe taking some time off, putting the rest of their lives in perspective and then go back to work. Sometimes we have to change profession in life because of illness, injury, age or external circumstances. That's not burnout. Burnout is frequently associated with unrealistic expectations about a job or profession. From what you wrote, your experience with burnout is because you turned your pastimes into professions. It's good that you aren't going to do the same with scuba diving.
     
  6. kosap1

    kosap1 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    35
    0
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    Maybe that happens because they are trying to increase your safety. If you get a cylinder filled and don't know how to use it that could be a very unsafe situation.


    I totally agree. If you don't want to do something the way that is generally accepted as a safe practice, go and spend your own money to get your own compressor, don't get your cylinders visually inspected or hydroed.

    At this point I would be thinking more about your buddy. While I think its wrong, you are the only one who can make that decision to be an unsafe diver but the thing I have a problem with you making decisions that will endanger your buddy and the other people you will be encountering in your life.
     
  7. leapfrog

    leapfrog Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: 40Žº 34'N -3Žº 55'W
    851
    0
    0
    :superman: :rofl3:
    There are many ways to fill a tank with air. Why do you have to go to a dive shop? The dive shop can do what the heck it wants. It's their compressor.

    A case in point. I was on the counter one day at a dive shop. Guy comes in and asks if I can fill his tank. I asked him what his plan was and he told me that he was going to go diving on his own in the bay where the shop was located. I asked him if he had any training as a Solo Diver. He gawped at me, stuttered and said "no". So he didn't get his fill, at least from me.
     
  8. theduckguru

    theduckguru Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: USA
    999
    220
    63
    Yea, the guy should have bought one of those tire servicing adaptors that most dive shops sell and told you he was a mechanic. I have yet to see any of these guys have to produce a C-Card or a mechanics card!

    Cut the self serving crap guys, you're selling air. Just about a stupid as requiring a prescription for medical oxygen and nothing for industrial oxygen.

    Putting air in my tank makes you no more liable than putting gas in my car.
     
  9. redacted

    redacted Guest

    No more unsafe than filling a fuel tank on a vehicle. When is the last time the clerk wanted to see your driver's license?

    But, yes. That is a different industry with a different norm. And the advent of paintball created a problem for this norm as paying customers had to be turned away for lack of a C-card. Suddenly, a waiver was good enough. After all safety is great until it starts costing rather than making money.

    BTW, did you learn to drive from a professional instructor or from a mentor?
     
  10. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

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    The cost of clean-air is not a rip-off! Compressors that are capable of delivering high pressure air that are equipped with proper filtration systems are expensive. You require good diver's air (US Navy Grade E, CSA Z180.1, or equivalent) that has been tested periodically to be free of hydrocarbons. A bicycle pump definitely doesn't cut it.

    I had $50,000 worth of compressors in my dive shop. The cost of air almost paid for filtration changes, air testing and hydro, but couldn't come close to paying for rebuilds or even the interest on the principle. Air is largely a lost-leader for a dive shop. If you're getting good air at the LDS, it's a good deal.
     

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