Recently, I was interviewed by the Driving Instructors Association DIA magazine for forthcoming article:
Why did you become a driving instructor?
After having quite a few different careers, including computer programming, music teaching and helping my wife start a business, I felt I wanted to pursue something new and challenging but self-employed.
Having always loved driving and having some experience teaching, becoming a driving instructor seemed a logical progression. I would retain my flexibility and independence, use some of my acquired business and teaching skills but at the same time help people directly.
What do you get out of your profession?
Driving training in my experience is a very satisfying: I don’t think I ever get bored – too much concentration required for that! What I love, is the fact that I can help all types of people achieve a specific and measurable goal and implant into them a culture of safe driving skills for life.
Helping those who are struggling with self-confidence, is perhaps the most rewarding, as you see them begin to enjoy their lesson, make progress and occasionally smile!
Lastly, I love the variety of interesting people I meet from all age groups and walks of life.
What differences were there between when you started and now?
Even in relatively short time I’ve been in the profession (five years), a few things have have changed – for the better I might add. The new style check test with its emphasis on coaching is a welcome improvement. Additionally, I’m looking forward to the new style driving test in December and the replacement of the old part 3 is definitely a welcome change.
What was the most unusual driving/training experience you had?
At the moment I am training a gentleman from the island of Bermuda who has retired to the UK. Unfortunately, the Bermuda license is only valid for a year here so he has to pass a UK driving test. What is interesting, is that he was driving before well before me and has even owned a few classic cars in his time! However, Bermuda is a very small Island with few roads and no roundabouts. UK roads, roundabouts and driving a stick shift (manual) – as he calls it – is quite a challenge for him. He’s hoping to take a test in September.
What obstacles have you faced and how did you get over them?
The first challenge I faced after passing my part 3, was my first check test. I failed – quite common apparently! The solution, was to get some good training and read a few books on the subject. I then passed with flying colours. What did I learn? To keep up my continuous professional development.
What is your fondest memory of being a trainer?
I think my fondest moment is the look on a pupils face when they hear those magic words from the examiner: “I’m pleased to inform you that you have passed your driving test today!”
What advice would you give trainers starting out?
My first piece of advice would be: don’t do it alone. Either start with a good franchise where you can get training, support and a fresh supply of pupils and/or join an association like the DIA. Along with this, don’t be afraid to ask for help even its from other driving instructors on Facebook.
Secondly, aim to be the best at what you do. In order to achieve this, keep your skills and knowledge up to date by reading and attending training courses. Keep learning! Observe all the driving tests you can.
Thirdly, treat your profession as a business. Organise yourself in terms of your diary, payments, book-keeping and pupil progress records. Additionally, effectively market yourself by first of all doing a great job. Then, ask for testimonials from satisfied pupils and celebrate their success of a Facebook business page, blog or website.
For Driving lessons, give me a call or text on 0778 055 3078. Alternatively use the contact page.
For more testimonials and information
I’ve learned so much I love driving! Keys to passing your driving test Focused lessons Results since April A grade check test result Intensive driving course Paul improves your driver ability Navy pupil passes first time Zero minors Intensive driving course First time pass 1 minor! The AA
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