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No yelling allowed
scubaclay - 11/16/2008 12:48 PM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 7

I was recently on another dive site that had an interesting discussion going. " Is it alright to yell at students" . I found the discussion very interesting because of the responses that were mad available to me. I was not allowed to take part in the discussion because I was not a member. So lets start our oun discussion. Is it alright to yell at students that asre not following instructions???

For my part it only acceptable to yell at students if there is a safety issue at hand. The extent of the issue is always up to the instructor. But I find that a calm voice, and an understanding mannor is usually th best way to reslove a porblem. The only time I every raised my voice at a student is when he kept spitting out his regulator under water. Even after discussing it with him several times he kept spitting out the reg. About the 15 th time he sipt it out I raised my voice and then explained that that was a severe safety issue and that if he continued he would not get out of the pool sessions, or get certified.

I cant tell you how bad I felt about the situation, but it was the only way that I could get him to understand what a problem it was. After that he never spit out his regulator again.

Since that situation, I have never raised my voice to a student again. It was a learning situation for both the student and me. I have now developed a mannor that lets me be more understanding and paitent with students, thank goodness for experience.



steelheadfish - 11/27/2008 2:28 PM
well i think many of us that sevrved our country are a bit more willing to accept a harsh tone during training, i even find that most people who i prefer to dive with have been prior service, I think it just is a different mind set. Because you can yell without being degrading. i have to hand it to all those who are willing to teach! it is a gift to be a good teacher!
Pixel - 11/18/2008 1:04 PM

When I did my open water I had two instructors and I couldn’t finish my open water due to bad flu. And as I was in the process of moving I ended up finishing in a different place.

One of the things I had to redo, was mask removal. Which I hate with a passion!!! After numerous attempts to instruct me to do it underwater and me ignoring it, (i was not going to take off my mask in a current that had already seen me getting bashed tank first into a rock). Then explaining that I needed to do this one thing to finish. She never yelled at me. Not once.

However what she did do, was on the next dive, when we landed on the bottom (17m), she wrapped her legs around me, (mounting me) and pulled it off!! Handed it back. When I put it back on and cleared it. She did an underwater happy dance to say I’d finally qualified.

Yelling very very rarely works. Unless it’s to instantly stop someone from doing something. Her method although a bit unorthodox, worked like
Greg - 11/17/2008 8:56 AM
Great blog Clay, and interesting subject. I personally don’t recall "yelling" at students...but then again, my wife claims that I yell all the time. I think it’s just my manly voice. I have had to get loud (by my standards) with kids in class before that were not paying attention.

GypsyDiver, I love your response! I also agree that killing off a dive master may be good for student moral and attentiveness :) That one made me laugh!
MonkeyDiver - 11/17/2008 1:09 AM
Raising your voice to remedy an immediate safety related problem is certainly acceptable, but is not effective as a long term teaching tool. And, as another commenter pointed out, killing your assistant as an example usually creates the required learning atmosphere.
GypsyDiver - 11/16/2008 10:38 PM

I agree about no yelling at students, but what about Assistant Instructors and Divemasters?

If we can’t yell at them, can we kill one as an example for others? ;)
MonkeyDiver - 11/16/2008 5:31 PM
If raising my voice could possibly prevent an immediate accident or incident then I will certainly use that approach. Yelling, however, is not an effective teaching tool, and overusing it will diminish its effectiveness when needed.
seawolfdiving - 11/16/2008 3:46 PM

Personally, I have found that the best way to "turn a student off" is to yell at them.

Although I have had occasion to pull a student to the side and "clarify what is expected of them" by way of performance and personnal behavior, I don’t find the need to yell at them.

Part of being a professional is learning to keep our cool, even when a student might be "acting out" in class. I know that it is difficult at times to resist the temptation to yell or be forcefull toward a student who is acting out in class, but I find that if I can just "keep my cool" , then I can quickly find a more effective mode of getting their attention and getting my point across.

The only time that I would possibally raise my voice to a student is in the event of an emergency or where I needed to speak louder (such as when there is a lot of noise) so that they could hear me. In this event, it’s not out of anger or to administer correction, b