For many, meeting their Course Director for the first time can be a slightly daunting experience. They are the Oracles of diving knowledge and hold the keys to your future career in the dive industry. They can have an intense presence and you can feel anxious to make a good impression…..Sounds stressful, right?! And that’s before you hit the class room!!
Not if you chose Cody McDonald as your Course Director. Although Cody has now been a Professional member of PADI for 16 Years, an Instructor for 15 years and a Course Director for 5 years. He still feels as joyful and enthusiastic about the industry as the day he became a Divemaster. And importantly, no superior to a Divemaster. This is his energy and work ethic.
Each PADI Instructor Examination Blue Corner Dive candidates attend, they are complimented on how much fun they have and how relaxed they all are. Whilst still achieving some of the highest scores possible. The PADI examiners tell us they look forward to meeting our new Instructors. So how does Cody do it? We ask him to find out…
Us: So how do you keep everyone smiling and relaxed through their IDC?!
Cody: Hahahahaha! It’s about fun. If you’re having it then those around you generally are. And I LOVE teaching Instructors, it’s my dream job and I feel like I was always meant to be doing this. They are my peeps! I have just the same interests and hobbies as they do. We have so much in common already. Also the key is to not stress people out! I don’t tend to share the full schedule with the group, we roll day to day so candidates only need to focus on the skill at hand. There is no reason an Instructor Development Course or Instructor Exams should be stressful. We chose to become dive Instructors for FUN!! So we start as we mean to go on.
Us: So what did you do in your ‘previous life?’
Cody: I was a Registered Nurse in Canada. Specialising in Pediatric Intensive Care and Palliative care and I used to really enjoy teaching College Students who were studying nursing.
Us: So what changed your life and drove you to open 6 dive shops and become a Course Director?
Cody: Well, the plan was never to get so big! We just wanted to open a place that we would love to hang out and dive at. And I’m so happy other people did too! I always LOVED teaching and connecting with happy people perusing their dreams so I had to chase my own dreams and become a CD.
Us: So what makes your Instructor Development Course different to others?
Cody: I never use the same recipe twice. It’s important to tailor each course to fit the group. Each candidate is completely unique. From different cultures, educational backgrounds and learn in completely unique ways, to mention just a few things. So how can I expect to teach everyone in the same way?! To deal with this I follow the curriculum and spend time with the candidates to understand how they can learn most efficiently in order to teach them far above and beyond the PADI requirements.
So weather its dancing underwater through your skills circuit, making you belly laugh during your classroom presentations, or simply getting to know someone over a beer in a beanbag. Cody is the Course Director who will give you awesome memories for life and the guy you can always call your friend.