I think most instructors would agree that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to our profession. As a fellow ADI and also Therapist, my aim in writing this series is to give you additional strategies and techniques that will enhance your existing skills, including methods to help learners who are nervous or suffer anxiety, and techniques to help pupils with dyslexia/dyspraxia.

Consider the following questions:
● What is your strategy when it feels like you’ve not taught a pupil for 20 hours, but one hour repeated 20 times?
● What can you do to help your pupils who are ‘physically’ capable of passing their test, but go to pieces on the day?
● Do you think it’s important to have a competence/confidence balance, and how do you achieve this?
● If you have a pupil with dyslexia/dyspraxia, what methods can you use to make the learning to drive process easier for them?
● Is it necessary to adapt your teaching style for different pupils?
● How do you help your pupils who constantly muddle up left and right?
● What effect do you think emotions such as nerves, panic, anxiety, stress, intimidation, fear, frustration, have on the learning process?
● When you’re ‘invited’ to your standards check, is your reaction one of excitement and can’t wait to prove yourself, or anxiety?

We all teach pupils with differing abilities; some learn easily and pass their test with confidence, whilst others find the process challenging and the thought of the test fills them with dread. We know that emotions affect the learning process, but what can we do to help eliminate the negative emotions that have an adverse effect on performance?

If everyone were the same, we would all have brains like Einstein, play football like Wayne Rooney and sing like Pavarotti… and being a driving instructor would be so much easier! We would teach everyone the same syllabus, everyone would learn at the same rate, in the same
manner, and pass their driving test after the same amount of lessons. But we aren’t the same, people differ greatly, and this is what makes our chosen profession so much more interesting, rewarding and, at times, frustrating. We constantly have to adapt our methods of teaching to suit the individual pupil: ‘If they can’t learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn’ (Chasty, 1994). Despite the label we’re given – driving instructors – aren’t ‘instructors’, we are teachers, though we may have to give instruction in certain circumstances, so this statement is as relevant for us as it is for any other type of teacher.

In this series I will offer a broad range of pupil centred, relevant and valuable tools, specifically adapted for ADIs to share with their pupils. These techniques are simple, highly effective, and can be used in many other situations, including your own Standards Check or PDI exams.
They are used to provide you with a complete ‘Psychological Toolkit’, including Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Thought Field Therapy, (TFT) & Multi-Sensory/Accelerated Learning.

To qualify in these techniques individually would take many hours and cost thousands of pounds. By incorporating a ‘snapshot’ of these techniques, this series will enable you to integrate them into your teaching; the skill is applying the appropriate techniques and tailoring them to your individual pupils’ needs.

This series will enable you to individually tailor your lessons for nervous, anxious pupils, those with dyslexia and/or dyspraxia, those lacking in confidence, and pupils who have severe test nerves, all of which are superb selling points for your business. These successful methods and techniques will help ensure that your pupils’ ability increases, their self assurance soars and they can eliminate their test day nerves.
Ask yourself: how much is that worth to your pupils?

Each month will focus on a particular area, from common problems and solutions associated with teaching pupils with dyslexia and dyspraxia, including the 4M’s for superb results, or the differing pupil personality traits and how to use them to the pupil’s advantage,
right through to achieving the Confidence/Competence balance, eliminating test day nerves or setting achievable goals.

In the end, developing the correct attitude in the learner will improve their ability to take in information, utilise effective skills and gain a real
understanding of their skills behind the wheel, helping them become safer drivers.

The Driving Instructor Online Course (The ‘Huge Bundle’) gives access to ALL the learner courses and ebooks and help for SC nerves, you can purchase this here.