Saturday, 24 February 2007

Who should become a driving instructor?

There's a suggestion that is doing the rounds at the mo about potential driving instructors having to be attitude tested before they go through the system. So I wondered who should become an ADI?

People see this job as a retirement job, or as an easy part-time career while bringing up kids. Many people just wanna escape from a job they hate, and they see the ads on the telly. It seems like an easy option - lets face it - everyone can drive, that gives you a head start straight away doesn't it?

To be honest - no. The best drivers often make the worst driving instructors. They have very little patience with learners because they can't understand why it is taking people so long to get to grips with everything.

The job is a teaching job primarily, with a bit of social work, a bit of confidence building, and a lot of life coaching (albeit targetted towards the one goal of becoming a driver).

The driving is a very small part of it, and a part that anyone who already drives can pick up pretty quickly by just analysing exactly what they do.

Good drivers do a lot of stuff without even thinking about it. This is where the problem occurs - which is one of the reasons that people driving with their mum or dad wind up getting frustrated and shouty about stuff. The 'why the f*ck didn't you stop?!' question becomes interesting when you get the answer 'cos you didn't f*cking tell me to!'.

If you try to write down every step of something you do every day (making a cup of tea for example), then imagine an alien reading through the steps and you start to find the problem:

Put teabag in cup - 'cup', what is this earth thing you call a 'cup'?
Pour in boiled water - from where do you get this 'boiled water'?
Let it steep for 20 seconds - where is the angle upon which I can make the cup full of boiled water 'steep', without it falling over and burning AHHH, I'M MELTING.......!

You will need to be precise:
Open 'top cupboard', get out the 'cups' (point to cupboard and cups).
Fill the 'kettle' with water from the 'tap'.
Replace the kettle and switch it on (point to switch).
Open other cupboard, get out 'tea bags'.

Are you getting the picture yet?

So back to the original question - who should become a driving instructor?
Sales people who have had to explain technical details of a product in simple terms are good.
Coaches and teachers are usually good.
Social workers tend to be good.
Communicators - of all types.

If you aren't sure if you're gonna be any good - try teaching someone to do your job, or to do one of your responsibilities around the house. If you get frustrated - work out why, and explain it better.

If you still get frustrated - find a different career.

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