Why Swimming Should Not Be Taught In Schools

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Often considered a life skill, swimming is not necessarily taught by all schools across the country. However, some argue that schools teach kids to read, write, and think critically, so why not learn how to swim there too?

The biggest reason not to include swimming in a school curriculum often comes down to the cost of a swimming pool and the higher number of instructors needed to ensure all kids are safe as they learn to swim.

Continue reading to learn more about some of the reasons why swimming shouldn’t be taught in school and what the alternatives are instead.

Boy in swimming ring smiling - Why Swimming Should Not Be Taught In Schools

Is it Hard to Organize Swimming Classes in School?

Organizing swimming classes is not particularly hard because it can be worked into schedules in place of physical education classes for a certain portion of the year.

For older children, swimming can be chosen as an elective class if they want to learn or strengthen their swimming skills. The problem lies elsewhere in managing and organizing the number of teachers available to help coach swimming lessons.

Because one teacher might teach multiple classes and grades, their schedule means they can’t teach 4th-grade swimming because they need to be in a 5th-grade math lesson, for example.

Boy in swimming ring smiling - Why Swimming Should Not Be Taught In Schools

Does it Cost Too Much?

Those who have had their children participate in private swimming lessons know that enrolling can be quite costly.

Shifting this financial burden onto schools and public institutions seems like the right thing to do when drownings are particularly high in children aged 14 or younger.

However, this is not a feasible or logical option in many cases. Furthermore, unlike other amenities like gyms, swimming pools have a very limited set of things that can be taught in them.

This means the high investment cost of a pool usually outweighs its utility, even if it would mean teaching children an essential skill.

Plus, if schools are forced to teach swimming, money for other programs may disappear, any tuition fees may increase, or even local taxes could increase.


Why is It Too Hard for Teachers to Do it?

Teaching how to swim is often too difficult, even for athletic teachers. Without the proper training, a teacher who knows how to swim isn’t very good because they just swim based on trained instincts.

Explaining where a child is going wrong without being able to identify the cause or use the right words creates a blockade of information and learning.

Not only that, but just one teacher for a whole class of kids is not usually enough supervision to make sure kids are performing the swimming exercises correctly and keep an eye out for potential drownings.


Where Should it be Taught?

If not at schools, where should essential swimming survival skills be taught? The local public pool is a great option for having scheduled swimming lessons at an affordable cost.

This presents less stress on public services because they already have the resources like the pool and staff. In addition, by being in a public pool, you have the eyes of trained professionals as well as bystanders to help prevent injuries and drownings.

Many public pools are also large enough to section off parts of the pool for lessons while allowing regular patrons to continue their swimming.


Who Should Teach Kids How to Swim?

A properly trained swimming instructor employed by a public pool service is probably the best option for teaching kids how to swim.

Not only can they give customized advice to each child, thanks to a trained eye and plenty of swimming experience, they know proper swimming techniques to prevent a child from developing chronic swimming injuries.

Private swim instructors can also be used to supplement a child’s swim lessons, but it is less likely for them to have the formal training that public swim instructors have gone through.

You can also help build a child’s confidence in the water by swimming with them as a fun pastime.


Final Thoughts on Why Swimming Should Not Be Taught in Schools

Many people think that there is no need to teach swimming skills in landlocked states, but they would be wrong. There is always the chance for an accident to happen in even relatively small bodies of water or on a beach vacation.

However, not just anybody can teach your child the skills they need when they are in the water. Some schools have found a system that works for educating their students, while others cannot gather the staff or the finances to justify a pool and swim lessons.

This is why swimming should not be taught in school but by swim instructors at a public pool.