Being a driving instructor comes with its fair share of challenges, like dealing with those pupils who drive you up the wall (not literally!) and make you wonder if you should’ve taken up knitting instead. You know the ones – they’re uncooperative, impolite, and make you want to pull your hair out.
However, with the right approach and mindset, you can turn these challenging situations into opportunities to grow as an instructor and help your students become better drivers. One key skill that you’ll need to develop is patience. It’s important to remember that everyone learns at their own pace, and some students may need more time and guidance than others. By remaining patient and calm, even in frustrating situations, you can create a more positive learning environment for your students.
In addition to patience, strong people skills are also crucial for dealing with challenging students. This means being able to communicate effectively, listen actively, and understand your students’ needs and motivations. By building rapport with your students and showing them that you care about their progress, you can create a more supportive and encouraging learning environment. This, in turn, can help boost their confidence and motivation, which can make them more receptive to your feedback and instruction.
Another important aspect of dealing with difficult students is being able to recognize and address any underlying issues that may be causing their behaviour. For example, if a student is consistently uncooperative or disengaged, there may be underlying factors such as anxiety, lack of confidence, or a negative past experience that are affecting their ability to learn. By identifying these issues and addressing them with empathy and understanding, you can help your students overcome their obstacles and make progress in their driving skills.
10 tips on dealing with difficult learner drivers
Stay calm: As a driving instructor, it’s important to remain calm, patient, and composed when dealing with difficult learners. If you get angry or frustrated, it will only make the situation worse. Even when learners make mistakes, it’s important to remain positive and encouraging. Help them to see mistakes as learning opportunities
Find out what the issue is: Before you can address the problem, you need to understand what’s causing it. Ask the learner driver what they are struggling with and work together to find a solution.
Use positive reinforcement: Praising learners for their good work is a great way to build their confidence and motivate them. Focus on their achievements and progress, rather than their mistakes.
Be clear and concise: Clear communication is key to successful driver training. Ensure your instructions are clear, concise, and easy to understand.
Provide feedback: Constructive feedback is important for learners to understand where they need to improve. Be specific, and offer suggestions on how to improve.
Keep the lessons interesting: Try to keep the lessons interesting and engaging. If learners are bored, they’re more likely to become disengaged and uncooperative.
Set achievable goals: Setting achievable goals can help learners to stay motivated and focused. Break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps.
Take a break if needed: If a learner is particularly difficult, taking a break can help to defuse the situation. Take a few minutes to cool down, and then resume the lesson when both of you are ready.
Be flexible: Some learners may need a different approach or learning style to succeed. Be open to changing your teaching methods to suit their needs.
Methods and approaches of dealing with learner drivers
As a driving instructor, there are different approaches and methods you can use for learner drivers, depending on their individual needs and learning styles.
Here are some examples:
Tailor the lessons to the learner: Each learner driver is unique, with different learning styles, needs, and goals. Therefore, as an ADI, it’s important to tailor your lessons to each individual learner. For example, some learners may prefer visual aids and diagrams to help them understand concepts, while others may learn better through hands-on practice. By taking the time to understand the needs and preferences of each learner, you can provide more effective and engaging lessons.
Use a variety of teaching methods: As an ADI, it’s important to use a variety of teaching methods to keep learners engaged and interested. This could include a combination of verbal explanations, demonstrations, visual aids, and interactive activities. By using a mix of teaching methods, you can help learners stay focused and absorb information more effectively.
Provide regular feedback: Learner drivers need regular feedback to understand their progress and areas for improvement. As an ADI, it’s important to provide constructive feedback after each lesson, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the learner’s performance. This can help learners build confidence and stay motivated throughout their driving journey.
Encourage reflection: Encouraging learners to reflect on their driving experiences can help them understand their own learning process and identify areas for improvement. You can do this by asking questions about their driving experiences and encouraging them to reflect on what they did well and what they could improve upon. This can help learners develop a deeper understanding of their own driving skills and become more self-aware on the road.
Use technology: Technology can be a powerful tool for driving instructors and learners alike. For example, you could use video recording to show learners their driving performance and provide feedback. You could also use simulation software to help learners practice driving in a safe and controlled environment. By using technology in your lessons, you can enhance the learning experience and help learners develop their driving skills more quickly.
Overall, there are many different approaches and methods ADIs can use for learner drivers. By tailoring your lessons to each individual, using a variety of teaching methods, providing regular feedback, encouraging reflection, and using technology, you can help learners become safe, confident, and skilled drivers.
Try it and see!
Why not have a look at our other article for Tips for Planning Routes for Learner Drivers