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#1 25-07-04 17:44:53

flock1
Guest

Enjoying the training or not??????

Hi all,

I'm a first time poster on this very useful forum, so please go easy on me......

Okay first up -  a bit of background.

I am a 32 year-old man, and have been a primary school teacher for the past ten years. My resignation was handed in, and as from the 1st of September, I will no longer be employed. My annual salary was/is about 31K. (I hope all of this rambling on about this will help you all to understand my motives for this post later on!)

I decided to leave teaching becasue of the paperwork - not the kids, and had been thinking of a career change for quite a while. Someone suggested Driving Instruction, and I liked the sound of it. I did some research, and found out a lot of things that appealed to me: working for myself, hours to suit me, new car, earnings of about 25K, and I reasoned that being a teacher already, then I should hopefully have no problems with teaching drivers.

I went to a few places to hear their talks, and it all sounded perfect. I rang up a random driving instructor from the phone book, and he was kind enough to give me further guidance. He told me to avoid the big companies, and to give someone he knew a ring. I thnaked him and ranf the number given. The man who answered told me that he trained driving instructors, and that when/if I qualified, I could work for his company on a franchise, or I could move to wherever I wanted. He also tried to dispel some of the myths about instructoring. He told me that I would not, in all probability, earn as much as I did as a teacher. He said that to earn that much I would have to work all the hours god sent. He also told me that only 30% of people passed the Part III test, and that it would be hard work at first. I thanked him for his honesty, and after further research, I finally opted to go with this trainer. He said that once I had paid the fee (£1500) then I could have unlimited lessons until I qualified.

Some of you may be thinking that this post is to slag him off, but that couldn't be further from the truth. He's been excellent, and I cannot fault him at all. The problem is me.

When I was given the first date of my training, I was really looking forward to it. I couldn't wait. I loved driving anyway, and so when my half-term hols arrived, I began the training. And then I didcovered that it wouldn't be as easy as I thought. Being a teacher already gave me no head start at all. (My trainer's ethos of teaching instructors is to combine Part II an Part III training concurrently. His other students, some of whom are from big establishments, say that they think this is an excellent way of doing things. Part III training will help with the Part II, and they go hand in hand together. Anyway, I did a week of training, and enjoyed it to some extent. Of course I didn't like the fact that I had used up most of my school holidays to do it, but hey, it was my choice.

Back at school, the paperwork piled up, and I longed for the day when I could leave it all behind. The headteacher was hassling me, and the kids were a handful.

The next holidays arrived and I went for my Part I theory test, which I passed with 98%. 
I had more training, and my trainer was disspointed in the fact that my driving had deteriorated since my last bout of lessons - almost two months previosuly. And I felt guitly, because I hadn;t been driving properly. I had reverted back to my old habits, and one of these habits resulted in me getting 3-penalty points - my first ever endorsments.One of friends told me that this was surely a sign, telling me to not become a driving instructor.

I ingored him and so began my new lessons. I quiclky got back up to scratch, and soon the date for my Part II test came through - 28 July  - next Wednesday. However, I began to not enjoy the lessons. I began to find them hard. THe Part III training especially, seemed very daunting, and I wondered whether I'd ever be able to do it. My trainer, told me that almost all students have these same thought processes, and that over time, it does become easier. He likened it to me as a teacher, and asked me whether I found standing up in front of 30 kids easy, and I said yes. For me, after ten-years, it was very easy. I continued with the training but couldn't shake off the feelings of doubt.

And other things began to worry me. How much would I actually earn? Would I still be able to afford to go flying? (I had passed my Private Pilots Licence the year previosuly, and on my teaching salary, I could just about afford to keep flying every couple of weeks). I worried about the Part II and III test. I worried about where I would take my students. I worried about a lot of things.

Back at school for my final term, and things began to change in me. I acually started to enjoy teaching again. This was in part because the Headteacher had allowed me to lapse on large chunks of paperwork. When she found out that I was training to become a driving instructor, she told me that she wished me well, but that it was a waste of my teaching talent. She told me that I was a natural teacher, and she couldn't believe I was giving it up. She told me to sign uo with a supply teaching ageny to try out a few different schools, and so that's what I did.

My last day at school finally arrived (last Wednesday) and it was a really sad day. Kids were crying, other teachers were crying, some parents told the headteacher that they were removing their child from the school becasue I wouldn't be there. As I left my classroom for the last time, I wondered if I had done the right thing. What did I want to be -a teacher or a driving instructor?

I had a meeting with a supply teaching agency, and they told me that I would get paid £150/day. They told me that they were desperate for male supply teachers, who were experienced. THey even made me sign a contract which would mean I would get paid even if they couldn't find me work. The only downside to that of course, was that I couldn't turn down any schools, no matter how bad they were.

Anyway, here's back to the point of this exceedingly long (is anybody still reading this) post. I am in a total dilemma. I can remain as a teacher (which I find easy and actually enjoy) or I can become a driving instructor (which, at the moment, I find extremely hard.)
It's not as cut and dry as this of course though is it? As as ADI I will probably earn about 20K for a 30 hour week. I will have to work weekends and evenings. I am also loathe to pay nearly a grand in franchise fees a month! Even if I do get a car out of it.

Let me put it like this. I think a lot of people think being an ADI is easy. (I know I did.) Some people will save up for a long time, or perhaps will tap into precious life savings, and will go for the plunge. To a lot of people, it is a wise investment. Parhaps in the end, when they qualify, the will earn more as an ADI than they could have ever earned at something else. And so these two factors will help them through the difficult times. They know that they have ploughed in their precious savings for a stab at a better future - and good look to them.

But for me it's different. I will be taking a pay cut, and quite a large one at that. In addition, the money that I have spent on the training, though quite considerable, was not my savings or special money. I was going to use it for a flying holiday, and so if I have lost it, then it won't really affect my life much. I know that I probably sound callous and calculating here but I'm not.All I'm doing is stating facts. And that fact of the matter is that I can walk away from driving instucting without any feeling of guilt, unlike the man who has saved up for years to do it.

But money isn't everythnig. What about lifestyle? As a teacher, I work about 55 hours a week. I would probably do about 40 hours as an ADI, with another 5 hours of driving to and fro to pick up students. Teaching is inherantly stressful, which is one of the major factors in leaving the profexssion. But I've heard the ADI'ing is equally as stressful. Indeed, at a recent mortgage meeting me and my girlfirend attended, the advisor wanted to know my job. When I told him that I was a teacher, he said that it was a level 2 job.
     "What do you mean?" I asked.
     "Oh," he said. "We have different levels - 1 to 5 - for different jobs. It's to do with stress. Teaching is classified as a level 2 job with regards to stress."
     "Right. And what sort of job is a level 1 then?"
     "Erm, jobs to do with driving, like being a driving instructor."
I nearly fell of my chair.

I've decided to shut up now, I could carry on for hours. But I'll leave you with this. Tomorow back at my lessons again, and I'm not looking forward to them in the slightest. And I don't know why?

I surely can't be the only ADI trainee to feel like this...

Flock1

PS I apologise for any spelling/grammar errors, but I haven't got the time to read through what I've written.

25-07-04 17:44:53

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Re: Enjoying the training or not??????



#2 25-07-04 20:12:00

Midge
Member
From: Nottingham
Registered: 25-02-04
Posts: 414
Website

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

From your message, I would think that if you don't finish what you have started,  you will always wonder if you should have done.  I've been a driving instructor for over twenty years, I've also qualified as a classroom teacher(adults).  I enjoy both really, but teaching on a one to one basis is best, for me.   You don't have to pay money out for a franchise, may be at the beginning it is best.  I think you've underallowed for the time travelling between pupils though.
Is there any way you could finish the course and do both jobs,  lots of driving instructors have other work, it saves you from getting stale.  I know of two who do agency nursing, having  qualified as nurses before they were driving instructors.  I would have thought nursing was quite stressful, but they thrive on this system.
I trained to teach people with disabilities, so I have always had a large variety of students.
Getting back to the course you are working at now, I remember when I was training, I'm sure I didn't really understand most of it,  I couldn't see it being real somehow, but I stuck it out, and passed the exams with quite high marks.  I still didn't feel right, even though I was qualified, so I took the diploma in driving instruction, and after I had passed that I finally began to think I was a driving instructor.
Midge


Midge  -   Dip D.I.

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#3 25-07-04 20:14:46

Midge
Member
From: Nottingham
Registered: 25-02-04
Posts: 414
Website

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

Just thought of something else,  have you ever sat in the back of the car when someone is doing a lesson?   If someone tells me they want to be a driving instructor I always offer them the chance to sit in on one of my lessons,
Midge


Midge  -   Dip D.I.

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#4 25-07-04 21:19:48

Bob_FOADS
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Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

Hi flock1,
If you pass the driving test you can be an instructor and / or school teacher.
If you fail all attemptd you can be a school teacher who gave driving instructing a good go.
If you give up on the instructor job, you'll never know!

I've been many things in my time. I mainly trained as an eldctronics design enginer a profesion that I attained a fairly high level in (£32k + a year) but have been a lorry driver, box packer and bum (spent 10 months traveling the world) each time returning to electronics when I finished playing.

OK, I've started to be a dinasor in electronics now so driving instructor may be my last stop now but I can still do any of the others if needed. Get that extra string on your bow or at least try to, it won't hurt to try no matter what the result.

#5 25-07-04 22:09:51

Badger
Guest

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

As I see it you have the best of both worlds and hold an extremely enviable position.

Teaching in any medium is a wonderful profession because it gives instant job satisfaction.

You can Supply Teach and train to be a Driving Instructor simultaneously.  When you qualify as an ADI you can still do both.  3 days Supply, and three days ADI or whatever.

Holidays/ term time, ring the changes -  more of one and less of the other.

The only doubtful thing I see at the moment is this business of doing Parts 2 & 3 simultaneously.

It is better in my view,  as part 3 is based on skills demonstarted in part 2, to get part 2 sorted first and passed  and  then get on with learning to teach part 2 skills in part 3.

Just my view for what its worth

Badger


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#6 25-07-04 22:46:57

drivetime
Verified Member
From: North Kent
Registered: 01-03-04
Posts: 216
Website

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

Why oh why do i read the whole post , the question , the answers, all the way through, and then i think ..........ok got the answer...........then i read the last answer and it's just what i wanted to say.   :twisted: 

Badger is right Fock1 use them both, if one doesn't work use the other or combine the two.

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#7 26-07-04 07:40:27

Badger
Guest

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

Sorry ! Drivetime.

But thanks for posting anyway because the more people that agree the stronger the case for Flocks encouragement.

Badger

#8 26-07-04 21:56:51

flock1
Guest

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

Thanks everyone, and I appreciate all that you've said.

I went for my training today, and I told him all about my doubts and worries, and he agreed with the idea of doing both supply teaching and Driving Instructing (on a trainee licence) and then after six months, I will know which path I want to go down. He told me that I could work as a teacher for three or four days a week (which will cover the mortgage/bills/etc etc) and can then do driving for one or two days - at least initially. He added that he wouldn't charge me the full franchise fee for this either, but would instead take a percentage of my hourly earnings. This seemed very fair to me, and so I thnaked him for his advise and guidance.

All I've got to do now is pass the Part II test on Wednesday!


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#9 27-07-04 14:04:26

Approved Instructor
Verified Member
From: Blackburn, Preston, Lancashire
Registered: 16-03-04
Posts: 884
Website

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

From reading your first post i was going to guess that you feel teaching  is no longer a challenge.
I think you may be bored with it and that is one of the reasons that the paperwork may pile up.
Maybe when you was busy going in for your pilots licence you never had a thought about leaving teaching because that was something to keep your mind busy.

of course you must see becoming a driving instructor a challenge, A goal to aim for.

Ive always said that if i was not happy in a job then i would leave as money is not as important as my happiness.

it took me a year from start to finish to become a instructor and i am happy i went down the path i did.

what ever you do i think you should go with what you feel is right

Good luck for wed  smile

Regards

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#10 27-07-04 23:04:02

leslie
Verified Member
From: Edinburgh
Registered: 13-05-04
Posts: 54
Website

Re: Enjoying the training or not??????

You talked about how stressful the teaching profession is and equally compared it to an ADI career. I think undoubtedly a greater number of professions are becoming increasingly stressful, with more demands on the individual and society as a whole.

I recently discussed this with a colleague which ended with a mutual agreement, we miss learning the lesson of inner self-responsibilty which reminds us that we create our own stress in life by the way we perceive and respond to others in the world.

I know, it's probably a bit heavy, but I hope you find what you're looking for.


Leslie

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