This course is designed to refresh and add to your teaching and paddling skills as well as update your ACA Instructor certification. Our update course will include a review of ACA education programs and resources, certification maintenance procedures and ACA paperwork including course reporting, insurance requests and any recent policy or curriculum changes. During the update you will be asked to teach and demonstrate a variety of topics and skills including rescue and safety techniques. Level 1 Kayak and Level 2 River Kayak Instructor updates are 1 day. Level 3 and 4 River Kayak Instructor updates are 2 days. Venues for our update classes will be within the venue range for your level of certification (Flat water for L1, Moving water-Class I whitewater for L2, Class I-II whitewater for L3 and Class II-III whitewater for L4). A general overview of what a River Kayak Instructor Update will look like can be found here in ACA’s guidance. I try to meet the spirit of that guidance.
What to bring:
- Proof of current ACA and SEIC membership (e.g. your current ACA instructor card)
- Gear: appropriate kayak with flotation, paddle(s), life jacket, sprayskirt (for decked kayaks at L2+), paddling shoes (required), appropriate rescue gear (including throw rope for L2-L4), paddling helmet for L2-L4, first aid kit, any other teaching/safety equipment you like to use.
- Water, snacks and lunch(es)
Before you arrive at the Update you should practice paddling and teaching the material (body of knowledge) for your level (e.g. the L1 Kayaking/River Kayaking skills courses and Instructor Criteria found on the ACA website). Be aware that you are certified for (and thus responsible to teach) all of the material at your certified level and all levels below that. Those not familiar with deep-water rescue techniques should review those techniques and/or these videos of them that I’ve prepared. If you have questions about performing any of the required certification criteria, feel free to ask. During the course you will be reviewed on your ability to:
- teach safely
- effectively demonstrate model-quality strokes and maneuvers
- effectively manage groups on and off the water
- match teaching styles with learning styles
- provide effective feedback and coaching
- understand and teach body/boat/paddle mechanics
- paddle comfortably and competently in your highest certified venue (L1=flat water, L2=class I, L3=class II, L4=class III)
If we have an opportunity, I would also like to video a simple set of stroke drills and maneuvers for you to review after the course for self-evaluation and tuning. I find these helpful for building/maintaining a “critical eye” and for tuning my own performance in teaching.
PLEASE NOTE!: Participating in the update does not in itself guarantee that you will successfully complete the update. You must meet all of your original certification standards (as presented in the Instructor Criteria for your level of certification and all levels below that). You may be challenged against any criterion at your level and will be expected to successfully meet that challenge in conditions up to and including those appropriate to your level of certification.