Meet Teacher Nicki!
Hi there! My name is Teacher Nicki! I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2015 and have since been working in therapy for children with special needs. I’ve recently completed my Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Deakin University in Australia, where I also worked as an ABA therapist for children with autism.
Growing up, being in the water was always a fun and adventurous experience. I was known to be the child whose tan never faded, and who would beg for “five more minutes” whenever asked to leave the pool. My love for the water began at an early age as my family would take numerous weekend trips which often involved water activities; be it snorkeling, surfing, or swim races in a pool.
Swimming is the perfect balance of so many things: it’s getting a workout but not getting sweaty, staying under the sun but keeping cool, and feeling like you're ‘flying’ as you float about without the fear of falling. I love swimming's endless possibilities: it can be relaxing but it can also competitive, you can opt to swim further or swim deeper, or you can add a board and suddenly it's a completely different sport. Whatever it is you decide to do, as long as you respect and love the water, it will always be fun!
I wanted to pass this love for water to other kids, so a little over two years ago, I started teaching swimming. Although most of my swim teaching career was focused on teaching children between the ages of 8-16, I've put my learned skills from therapy to use as I focus on teaching children with special needs and infants below the age of two.
My favorite part of being a teacher is seeing my students grow to love the water and have confidence in their capabilities. I love seeing the look on their faces when they’ve accomplished certain tasks, or discovered a new skill. On the other hand, the biggest challenge as a swimming teacher is always overcoming the students’ fear. When a student has a crippling fear of the water, it often makes it difficult for them to be open to learning new skills. This is why it is so important, as a teacher, to build good rapport with your students; as their trust in you grows, they eventually trump their fear of the water.
I look forward to my lessons, seeing the children smile, and hearing their laughs and funny comments. My students have taught me that learning is a process that comes to everyone at different paces. No two students are exactly the same, so it should never be expected that they all learn in the same way. Each student is unique in themselves, and this uniqueness should be celebrated!
I would describe myself as outgoing, bubbly, and determined. On my days off, I often still find myself in the water. I try my best to go out of town to surf, wakeboard, or dive. However, if I’m in the city, you can often find me spending my days off with my family or hitting the gym with my church friends.