Things That Piss Me Off, Entry #3,012: Teachers That Tell You You Can’t Be Taught

Y’all I am PISSED.


Let’s say there was an adorable bae named Bae. He’s basically the cutest and the person that bought me that crazy stripper light thing for my pole.

He  took me to urgent care on Christmas Eve when my ear exploded. He also fearlessly looked into its yucky, green depths to report what was happening. (Warning: this video is gross).

Sometimes he sneakily meditates while I’m in the shower, but he always answers my questions. (Shouted from the bathroom: “Babe can you check if the milk is still good?”)

His answer:

“Milk is good.”

Bae wants to learn to swim. He doesn’t know how, and as an adult, he’s made the gutsy move of taking swimming lessons. I’m a lifeguard so I was all, I’ll teach you to swim! And he was all, “I’m serious about this, it’s not your problem!”

He took his first lesson. And you guys, the teacher told him he’s too top-heavy to float.


Obviously, I flipped out. We started our own lessons. Bae does indeed suck at floating, but we worked on it. A week later, I walked into the pool at our gym after work and saw this: him swimming with a pull buoy.

Sorry Michael, you're just too top heavy.
Sorry Michael, you’re just too top heavy.

Two weeks later he’s swimming without any assistance, and his teacher (who maintained that he simply could not be taught to swim up till the third lesson) is amazed at his progress and moved him up to level 2. Bae now practices on his own more than I hit the pole studio, and loves being in the water.

What’s the secret sauce? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you one thing, I didn’t tell him he couldn’t be taught.

Who does that???

Now don’t get me wrong: certain body types are better suited to some sports than other. I have big hips and trust… it takes a lot to get them up over my head on the pole, for instance.

But a teacher DOES NOT…. let’s say it again, DOES NOT try and pass their bad teaching off on a person’s body type. That shit is uncalled for.

First of all… have you seen Michael Phelps? I rest my case.

Second of all, maybe try another approach? On the pole, if somebody can’t spin yet, how about dips? If they can’t dip yet, let’s work on walking. With swimming especially, there are so many tools available to get someone moving in the water, whatever they need assistance with. Flippers, pull buoys, kick boards, you name it. A teacher’s lack of imagination or problem solving skills should never be dumped on a student like that.

Have you guys ever had an experience like this? Did you speak up, or work on your skills on your own? Did it turn you off to a sport or skill altogether?

I hope not, but if so please help me bitch about it.


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