In the UK on average it takes people 47 hours of lessons to pass their driving test, and if you’re not practising outside of your lessons, it will increase dramatically. It means you spend the best part of two days, at least, in a close environment whilst someone is teaching you to drive.
Essentially you are learning to drive by trial and error, learning a range of movements and concentration; you focus on driving straight and not crashing whilst subconsciously remembering to change gear, find the biting point and mirror, signal, manoeuvre.
Learning to drive can be a long, arduous and costly process and can leave pupils disillusioned over their driving ability. Many people cite monotonous lessons with their instructor seemingly not bothered about putting in for a practical or theory test. This affects the pupil’s nerves, and self-confidence.
The thing is learning to drive is not an exact science; people develop at different rates and nerves and self-confidence can play a major role in a pupil’s development. Therefore, you can’t have a standardised driving lesson format because people develop at different speeds.
The driving instructor has to be vigilant and quick to assess a pupil’s strengths and weaknesses, and devise their future lessons around their progression. Pigeon holing someone into a preconceived lesson plan will benefit a minority whilst suffocating the majority.
When faced with a pupil who has never sat in the driver’s seat before, compared with someone who has been driving regularly in their parents car, these pupils will clearly need separate and contrasting lesson plans. Whilst one is a blank canvas, another may need more focus on correcting bad habits passed on from their parents.
Alternatively, a learner driver who has not driven before may be racked with nerves and low confidence, needing more time to get to grips with driving and used to the different scenarios the everyday driving throws up. Others who are more experienced may need to focus more on manoeuvres and mirror checking.
The driving instructor needs to assess each individual pupil on a case by case basis so they are gaining as much out of the lessons as possible. It might mean that they need more work on manoeuvres rather than road driving, or that they forget to look into the mirror whilst performing mirror, signal, and manoeuvre.
Equally, a pupil needs to be vigilant on what they perceive to be weaknesses in their driving armoury. Presently, the cost of learning to drive is expensive and pupils need to be self-determined to get the best out of their lessons.
Being vocal, honest and upfront with your instructor on what areas you believe or want to work on will result in a flexible lesson plan to suit your needs.
Learning to drive needs to be a two-way conversation, working towards specific targets identified and agreed on by both the pupil and the instructor, so the pupils can work towards becoming a good, all round driver and able to take their practical test.
What do you think about Driving Instructor Lesson Planning – are you all for it?