Thursday, 2 July 2009

Born To Teach?

Life as a driving instructor has its ups and downs, but on the whole, it’s great. I get on very well with most of my clients and we have a laugh or two whilst they learn how to drive. I really enjoy building a relationship over the time I spend with them, sharing the joy and frustration as they learn and struggle, and then learn some more, and sharing their elation as they pass their test (most of my passes are first time too, which is nice). Occasionally I get asked if I’ve thought about becoming an examiner. This is something I really wouldn’t want to do.
As a driving instructor, I get to know my clients and build something of a bond with them, sharing time in the car together, experiencing highs and lows of the learning procedure and ultimately the final high as they wave the pass certificate in the air and text all their mates on the way home. As an examiner I’d get to see a stream of individuals for 40 minutes each, half of whom (at York, pass rate is about 50%) I’d have to crush by telling them that they haven’t reached the standard this time. No banter. No sharing. No bonding. No learning. No fun.
As a driving instructor I sometimes conduct mock tests but at least at the end if it doesn’t go well I can go on to say
“Well, that wasn’t great, but now let’s go and fix it!”
I love the whole teaching thing of facilitating learning and seeing people do something that they couldn’t do an hour, a week, or a month ago. And then being able to think;
“I made that possible.” It’s a great feeling and very rewarding.
I get this in the dance world too. On the night the Engine Shed re-opened its doors to the salsa community, I had the pleasure of dancing with several ladies whom I have taught to dance and I delighted in every one of them. Even better when separately but on that same evening, two of the ladies concerned actually kissed me and thanked me for teaching them to dance. How good did that make me feel?


Maggie Cobbett said...

Very interesting! My father was a driving instructor and took the same delight in his pupils' progress as you do. On more than one occasion he turned down the opportunity to become an examiner.

Salsa Dancer said...

I'm not sure why, but I have always been intimidated by the examiners, they tend to rarely make small talk other than the formalities at the start. I've never really had a driving instructor which I would consider "good" IMO. I passed third time as well, and the only reason I can think of why was because I was too intimidated and nervous during the test.

Some people work under pressure really well, I actually don't. Although in my CV I aleays write down that I "work well under pressure". LOL.

ANyways I'm off to do some salsa dancing, catch you soon.