Reboot & Refresh
Mike Simpson, ADI & Owner of ADI Network tells us - Doing something different in work with your skills can be less of a chore, more of an exhilarating challenge
As a rule, I don’t work weekends. Friday afternoon is my cut off, I feel I’ve done enough teaching for the week and feel ready for a break from pupils. But last weekend I found myself kind of thrown in at the deep end teaching under-17’s to drive for a charity event held at Rockingham Speedway: The Super Car Event in aid of The Children’s Trust (www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk). It’s a charity that supports children who have suffered brain injuries.
As name suggests, this was very much a ‘supercar’ event, where owners of some of the most exotic cars I’ve ever seen, brought their ‘toys’ to the famous track in order to give the paying public the flying laps of their dreams. These guys were donating their time, fuel and tyres in return for track time, and the opportunity to raise desperately need funds for the charity by charging people to be passengers. My vehicle was a lot less exotic (there were also helicopter and hovercraft rides), but the opportunity to have a driving lesson when under-17 is still pretty appealing.
When I turned up at Rockingham for the morning briefing, having got up at some un-earthly hour (5am), I must admit I was a tad nervous: What if pupils, mums or dads were not happy? Could I deliver a lesson in such a short time? Well as it turned out, I needn’t have worried, the pupils were so keen to learn, that it made my job so easy and even more enjoyable. In the past at under-17 teaching events, I’d have an hour with each pupil, giving me plenty of time to go into detail on the how’s and why’s of using a clutch etc. However, for this event, each pupil was given just 15 to 20 minutes in car for a £20 donation to the charity. It certainly tested my teaching skills as an ADI, especially when watching the clock. I felt I needed to get the students moving off, stopping and steering, but also for them to understand how they had done it, and capable of doing it again independently. Despite the very, early start and a late finish (door to door 5am/7pm), all the other instructors and myself were sold on it, and eager to do the same again. A challenge, but a very worthwhile and rewarding experience. We even got given rides around the track in some amazing cars, at equally incredible speeds, while helping to raise funds for a truly amazing charity, made some terrific new friends and got to teach some incredible young pupils.
It was a refreshing experience. Going into Monday morning I should have been tired, but was raring to go, inspired and happy. The event really was a win win, raising funds and bringing back the buzz of teaching. It took us out of our comfort zones, we all learnt a few new tricks and fell in love with driver training again. So, I urge/dare you to do something that challenges you as an instructor, out of your comfort zone, to reboot and refresh.