Whilst driving might not seem like rocket science, teaching can be a whole other ball game. If you’re wondering if you have what it takes to become a Driving Instructor then there are a few things you need to consider, and qualities that you should possess.
To give you some insight into what’s required when starting a career as a driving instructor, we’ve pulled together some of the top skills and abilities you’ll need. Read on to find out more.
Get yourself DVSA approved
To legitimately teach people how to drive, you must pass the official instructor training programme and be able to show proof should your pupils ask for it. The only people who are legally allowed to teach learner drives are those who are either part-way through their training or have completed the course and are DVSA approved. If you’re a PDI (Potential Driving Instructor) and yet to finish your course, you should display a pink triangle in your windscreen, whereas if you’re fully approved, you’ll have a green octagon. You cannot legally teach without these conditions.
If you’re not a patient person, then it’s unlikely that teaching people to drive will be for you. No one’s perfect, and new drivers are going to make mistakes. To help your pupils progress, you’ll need to show understanding and patience. The more cool, calm and collected you can be, the better. If you come across as approachable, then whoever you’re teaching is going to feel as if they can be honest with what they’re struggling with and, hopefully, you can help.
Similar to the above point, you need to be able to keep your temper in check if you plan on teaching people to drive. It may become frustrating if your student isn’t mastering the ability to drive as quick as you’d like, but snapping at them will do nothing but shatter their confidence. If you’re usually a little hot headed, we recommend learning to bite your tongue or express yourself constructively.
It’s important to be able to communicate clearly when you’re trying to teach someone a skill. This is something that will only improve the more you teach, but it’s great if you can start out a step ahead. Try to simplify directions and give constructive criticism where needed. Whilst teaching may not come naturally at first, it won’t take long to get into the flow of the teacher and student relationship. Try not to make your feedback personal, or put blame onto your pupil. If they leave their lessons feeling defeated then they may find it even more difficult to learn to drive or, worse, they may not want to return.
Organisation and punctuality are key if you’re going to make it as a driving instructor. You need to be reliable in order to build trust between you and your students. If you have a set a time for the lesson to begin, it’s best practice to arrive at the agreed pick-up point 5-10 minutes early. Whilst you might find your students cancelling lessons frequently or showing up late, as the teacher, you must remain vigilant with your own schedule.