Published on February 10, 2020
Staff Profile: Meet Wyatt Paziuk
You could say that Wyatt was born to teach children, but that would be an understatement. His passion for mentoring young ones is a gift he shares any moment he can!
Wyatt’s love for swimming developed over the years when he was in swim lessons at Fountain Park Recreation Centre (FPRC) from six months of age until 14. He was inspired to teach because he understood how important it was for children to know how to swim. “Teaching swim skills means a kid will have that skill for life,” says Wyatt. In 2011, he started volunteering at FPRC by helping with classes, retrieving runaway kids, being emotionally supportive to children, and practicing skills with students. He loved it so much he became an official employee in 2014.
As a swim instructor at FPRC, Wyatt has been teaching kids in the preschool to level nine swim programs for the last six years. These programs help children develop strength, endurance, and confidence in the pool. With Wyatt’s coaching and supportive encouragement, students leave the program with the important life skill of swimming.
It’s not only Wyatt teaching the students, but the students teaching him. He’s learned about patience, courage and overcoming fears. He recalls students who were deathly afraid of water and being able to show them the joy of swimming. “The courage these kids show me is just amazing,” says Wyatt.
Wyatt has also taught special needs classes and fondly remembers a student who had a big impact on him. The student was non-verbal, and his mom didn’t think it was possible for him to learn to swim, but she wanted him to experience the fun of playing in the water. “After a while, I started finding that I could actually communicate with him,” says Wyatt. “I could say ‘Go under water’, and I would go under water and motion him to do it and he’d do it. We slowly started building it up and I was communicating with him!”
By the end of the program, the student was swimming across the deep end with no life jacket and his mom in tears and amazed her son could do this. “He was swimming all by himself – It was just beautiful, so rewarding,” exclaims Wyatt.
While he finds joy in teaching swimming, something was missing. “For swimming lessons, you only get to see kids for 30-45 minutes,” says Wyatt. He hates the day they have to say goodbye; “It feels like it’s too soon”. It was this realization that motivated Wyatt to get a degree in education, so he could become a teacher. Teaching full-time means more time educating children and really getting to know them. “Building the relationship is the best part,” says Wyatt.
With full-time teaching on the horizon, rest assured that Wyatt doesn’t plan to stop leading swim lessons anytime soon! Once he completes his education degree, he’ll still be at FPRC. “I’ll keep working on the weekends while I teach because I LOVE this job,” says Wyatt. “A lot of the time, especially when I've had a bad week, my shift is the highlight of my week!”
Wyatt Fun Facts:
- He’s an armored officer in the military and is switching to become a medical technician in the field ambulance regiment.
- One of his favorite past times is art.
- He is completing his last practicum in Boyle, Alberta to finish his education degree with the University of Alberta.
- With some fellow classmates at Bellerose Composite High School, he helped paint one of the City of St. Albert street pianos. See below!
Wyatt is just one of the many amazing swim instructors we have at our facilities. If you’re little one needs to start their swimming journey or if you’re interested in taking lessons yourself, look no further!
Spring 2020 and summer camp programs are now available to view online, with important registration dates as follows:
- Early aquatic registration for St. Albert residents opens February 26, 2020.
- Early aquatic and program registration for Servus Place annual members opens February 26, 2020.
- General registration opens March 4, 2020.
Last edited: February 26, 2020