I was at the Northland Community Wellness Day this past Saturday and one of the exhibitors caught my eye.  Primarily because I use to be a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) at the Wrenshall Pool in the late 70's, early 80's.  It's a very fulfilling job knowing that you are teaching a lifesaving technique to students, some of whom are still in contact with me today.  If you need a summer job, consider working with UMD's Rec Sports Outdoor Program, teaching swimming.

You will need to be a certified Water Safety Instructor through the American Red Cross. [class information]. Swimming lessons are for all ages from pre-school to adults.  When my daughter Kylee was 6 months old, she had her first swimming lesson.

Some of the other responsibilities of the job include:

  • Meeting course objectives for all ages
  • Having an understanding and being familiar with course materials
  • Ability to be flexible with schedule of classes and subbing if needed
  • Communicate progress to both student and parent/guardian (if applicable)
  • Participating to  regular in-service training
  • Other duties as needed

In addition, you will need the following:

  • American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Certification
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification and First Aid
  • American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer

I had to obtain my WSI Certification before I could teach at the Wrenshall pool, but while I was going through the course, I was hired as a locker room attendant.  So, my days were still spent at the pool with the students. Last year I had a former student from over 30 years ago send me this:

Cathy Kates

How cool is that!  (now you know my maiden name)  She kept it all these years!

Don't let not being a certified WSI deter you from calling or emailing to ask questions.  I'm sure they'll help by telling you how to get your certification, you may even end up taking the Lifeguard Course and I'll see you out at Park Point this summer!  Remember, you're not only teaching others a life-long skill, it's great exercise for your body too!

To Apply:

  • Go to:  www.umdrsop.org
  • Click on Employment, scroll to Water Safety Instructor and click on Application.

Get your questions answered by contacting the UMD's Rec Sports Outdoor Program Aquatic Director, Gregg Batinich at 218.726.6295 or email him at 218.726.6295.