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#1 10-04-06 18:42:48

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

My first day on a Trainee Licence

I've just had my first day on a pink today. Thought i'd share my experiences with other PDI's who will then hopefully benefit from some of it!
Had 2 x 2 hour lessons, both according to school's booking letter were 'part trained', so i'd planned my route which was a nursery to start with moving into intermediate to do a driving assessment on them. I don't know the area and so had spent quite a bit of time in last few days planning the route and finding out which roads led where, which were the dead-ends etc, and was fairly confident on that score. It turned out that the 1st 'part trained' pupil had moved his dad's car up and down the driveway and so it was a brand new driver lesson in fact, which meant that most of my route was now unsuitable and my mind set was wrong as I wasn't really expecting to do a brand new pupil lesson.  Even though it starts off nursery it became intermediate quicker that I thought it had. I didn't cover enough in the contols part, we were on the move within about 20 mins of arriving on site, which tells me that I wasn't detailed enough (I forgot to even mention indicators!)  and so i've got to look at that. He got the car moving generally ok, but I should have been getting him to start/stop, start/stop in short distances, I was getting him to drive a couple of hundred metres then stopping so of course we ran out of road! Thats when it started to snowball and about 3 times we had to swap seats to help him out of situations that I should never have had him in. I don't think i'll be seeing him again. If it was me learning I probably wouldnt have re-booked, it was 'i'll phone you later when i've got my diary with me'. It was so bad I almost feel I should go and give him his dad's money back. The 2nd pupil lived near the 1st one as so I was back to exactly the same site again.

The second pupil had had 12 hours with BSM about 6 months ago, but had passed a test in India in the meantime where he drove for about 3 months. I asked him some questions about Cockpit drill, contols, MSM etc, whats the speed limit for this road, what did do on his BSM lessons and what did he have trouble with on his previous lessons etc. He said he drove too quickly and was having trouble braking, and struggled with TIR as he found steering difficult...... Got the car moving with a mixture of Guided and Prompted instruction on POM etc but said we'd keep our speed low and controlled, about 15-20mph to start with and he stopped the car quite well and under control. Got to the end of this road (id learnt from the previous lesson, stopped him about 3 times on this stretch of road and he did ok) and so it was onto a very quiet roundabout where we turned left 1st exit. He had a good understanding of mirrors, when to use them and which ones etc, and his general driving wasn't too bad, except lots of coasting. This lesson snowballed a bit but to less of an extent to the 1st one and could see some progress being made with him, his faults were getting less frequent and he was learning, even though in the end we ended up just going round a block about 5 times mainly left emerging/left junctions and a few quiet cross roads going straight across. (I couldn't believe my eyes when we saw an instructor on his mobile while his pupil was doing a reverse left round the corner) which we were going to turn left at.

In conclusion.....'Part trained' can mean anything, get a better idea of driving experience on my phone call in order to plan a more suitable route, that was 80% of the problem I feel. Next time i'm taking all new pupils to a well known nursery route which I know is a lot better even though it takes 20 mins to get there from where I was today. Make sure there's more detail in my briefings (my brother who can drive has offered to go out with me this week to listen to it to see what I miss etc, i'm going to use prompt cards as well now in future until i'm 100% sure). During the 1st lesson I almost wanted to cry and just take him home and say sorry I cant do this.  When explaining something, remember WHAT do we do, HOW we do it, and WHY we do it. I was getting them to run before they could walk (but hey they're about the right age to be ready for the 2012 Olympics!) Do things in small bite size pieces.

I'm filling in a Self Analysis form after every lesson so I can see what I did well (apart from being punctual! very very little today) what I need to improve, how I dealt with core comps etc.  Got a training session with my trainer next Tuesday and hey I need it. They couldn't fit me in this week and so like an idiot I started without a warm up session first. I'll keep you posted about how my next lesson goes, it's on Sunday morning and the place I should have taken these two to today here we come!

Sorry to bore you all, thanks for reading.

Whoosh

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10-04-06 18:42:48

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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence



#2 10-04-06 18:49:15

markA.d.I
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

I would say a couple of hundred meters was fine for move off and stop whoosh, got to give them shed loads of time to get the routine spot on !

Sounds like you had a good day, its great how you analyse your own faults as well as theres !!, we have all forgotten the odd thing before so don't worry too much about that, my first lesson was a disaster, but i grew and grew in confidence the more hours i did, eventually you get the patter off to a tee !!

Good luck and keep up the good work !

Mark

#3 10-04-06 18:51:31

luchell
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Well done for getting through it. I promise it does get easier. No matter what you know more than the pupil. You will gain confidence and like i did after every lesson you will think about what you missed out and what you could have improved upon and over time you will improve lots and lots lol

It can be a scary world out here at first but you've got us and we will help you as much as we can with anything you ask and just in general.

Just look at the second lesson you did, you quickly picked up on how to prevent the first lessons problems haunting you again. Was there any way you could have moved the car from your side to save swapping seats. That often helps, i do that if i need to. Get the pupil to steer and you do controls or both if you need to. Dont worry about this mornings pupil i doubt he would have known much was up as long as you keep smiling and sound as though you know what you are talking about.

#4 10-04-06 18:59:22

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Thanks for the kind comments both of you, it really means a lot. It did seriously think about rather than swapping seats do a TIR from my side but to be honest I had so much else going on im my head it was one less thing to worry about at the time, that may sound awful but at the time it was true. I'm sure things will come together, I need to rememeber teach them 1 step at a time as opposed to 's*** there's a turning ahead but he doesn't know how to turn'. I felt 2 hours was a long first lesson, may look at an hour and a half on future bookings at least until im more confident. I'm now seriously thinking of sending the 1st guy his money back it was that bad.

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#5 10-04-06 19:10:19

markA.d.I
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

I always do a T.I.R rather than get out .... i am a lazy sod !!!

I just say you will be doing these soon, this is where you need to look, tell me when we are a meter away from the kerb baa blaa .... its a good headstart for when you intro' it.

Just remember whoosh, they know nothing, they will not even have the foggiest idea .... you are the expert ! (if they hit you with an awkward question .... just say thats an excellent question, why don't you look up the answer for next week, good practice for the theory, soon as there out of the car get the book out or get on here !!!!)

Sounds like you are doing alright to me though !

The secret is to be able to evaluate your own performance honestly, you are doing that which means you are conscientious, which = top ADI material !!!

Good luck mate !


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#6 10-04-06 19:16:34

1stdrive
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Wow that brings back some memories. My 1st day on pink was awful when I got home I never wanted to go out again. All the training on the pst's does not prepare you for a real life pupil and it very rarely goes 'by the book' but keep at it because what I found out is, experience is the best trainer of them all. big_smile

I'm now seriously thinking of sending the 1st guy his money back it was that bad.

I'd bet you that he didn't even notice and probably really enjoyed it, when it all goes pear shaped the pupil rarely notices, as long as they're driving they wouldn't have a clue wink.

Keep smiling, put it all down to valuable experience and GOOD LUCK with tommorrow. big_smile big_smile big_smile

#7 10-04-06 19:18:03

evan
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Well PDIWhoosh don't be too hard on yourself, you are in very good company on these boards, everyone of us has had things go wrong when we started. Still go wrong now occasionally. All part of the learning curve as the above posts above have said you've done alright.

I think it takes a lot of courage to come onto these boards and give an account of what you feel has gone wrong, speaks volumes to me about a person not all would have the strength of character to do it. So a big well done and round of applause from me anyhow. Good on yah kid.  ;D Ev

#8 10-04-06 19:36:05

luchell
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Yep you wont be the last to think 'uh oh' lol I went down a dead end the other day, i use the junction just down from it tons so why i ended up down there i have no idea!! I had the residents of the close looking at me funny as i talked my pupil through " The new steering exercise we were going to try. I will do the pedals and you steer which way i tell you to." It was mega tight and took about ten shunts to get out!!!! I so nearly burst out laughing as she said, " that really helped me thankyou!" lol

Honest it happens to us all, if she had known i had taken her down the wrong turning i think she would have laughed but i got away with it smiling and talking (Blagging) my way out of the situation. the pupil as said above probably went home ranting and raving about you. He has nothing to compare it to and even if he did it still sounds like he made some progress so don't worry. Put it down to fantastic experience and remember how this feels so one day you will be sat here advising a pdi who has had a bad day just like we are. We've all been there i promise lol

I was really upset at myself that i allowed two unsafe emerges in one lesson during my first few weeks on my pink, i came on here and worked out why it happened, by the time i went for the dual brake i would have stopped them way over the line so i thought better of it as the cars were not gaining too fast on us so i apologised but thought im so stupid!! It upset me at the time, i just wasnt quick enough getting my foot to the dual, iwas also not used to doing so either. It hasnt happened since i can tell you. As long as you realise where you could improve you will do very well indeed smile


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#9 11-04-06 17:54:23

kestrelkevin44
Verified Member
From: Surrey/Berkshire borders
Registered: 29-08-04
Posts: 417
Website

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Hi ya
Well done for surviving your first day on the pink smile. I'm not even on a pink - just doing freebees, but I know exactly how you feel :? don't beat yourself up too much over it, at least you are aware of what mistakes you made and therefore you can correct them on the next lesson wink it would be far more worrying if you came in not realising that anything was wrong and everything was hunky dory.  When all is said and done that is the purpose of the trainee licence..to gain experiance of real pupils and LEARN.
Good luck with it big_smile
Alex

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#10 12-04-06 08:22:16

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Hi guys,

Well i've had a couple of days to reflect on what happened and i'm feeling more positive than I was. I'm not going to send the 1st guy his money back which is what I was thinking of doing. I don't have another pupil until Sunday which is a long gap. Going to assume he knows absoloutely nothing even though he says he's driven before, but then that could mean anything. Going to take him to a nursery route that I know a lot better than my first two lessons and so half the battle is won there as I know exactly what's coming up. Going out with my dad and my brother in next couple of days so I can get used my 'patter' sorted (or improved at least) when it comes to Q+A and going through things like cockpit drill and controls etc.

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#11 12-04-06 08:28:04

evan
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Good for you whooshi, you'll be ok it will get easier now, you have got the first couple of lessons over and they are always the hardest.

Good luck Ev

#12 12-04-06 16:07:48

pj
Verified Member
From: surrey
Registered: 27-02-05
Posts: 1,794

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

whoosh where are you based or doing your lessons, one of us will be able to tell you the best places to go,  I've gone up dead ends & even got lost once (didn't let the pupil know) just kept going til i saw a sign for a place i knew lol


PJ Dip DI

if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

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#13 12-04-06 16:15:34

MiniClassic
Verified Member
From: Croydon
Registered: 18-01-06
Posts: 447

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Hi Stuart,
look- I've upgraded to keep up with your exploits! Seems as though you've had time to reconsider your initial feelings. It really is hard to be very down on yourself and not take any positives from these kind of situations.

I'm happy to meet up next week in an evening if you want an extra body to practise on as well as dad/brother. You've got my number...
Keep your head up,
Andy.


Ambition Driving College

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#14 14-04-06 11:16:18

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Hi Mini Classic,

I'm glad to see that the chance to keep up with my exploits has encouraged you to fork out £8 to upgrade!! I knew my 10 years of sales skills would eventually pay off!! Seriously though it's great to have you on board here. I'm feeling more positive the 2nd guy I 'taught' on Monday who's lesson was better than the 1st has just rung to book 2x1.5 hour lessons over the next 3 days and so i can't have been that bad!! I'm going to take him back to basics a bit more that I did on his 1st lesson, make sure I put more explanation into the basics of why and how we do things like MSM etc which I didn't cover enough on Monday. His starting/stopping wasn't bad but tended to stop over peoples driveways and so am going to start off at slower speeds to get him used to braking distances and stopping the car where he should be rather than because the car has run out of steam if that makes sense.

I may well take you up on the offer of going out Andy to practise, i'll be in touch mate.

Thanks for all the help and comments so far all of you.

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#15 14-04-06 11:20:03

evan
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Well done Whoosh, glad that you are feeling more positive. There you are the pupils booked more lessons with you so he must of felt good at the end of the lesson. Good stuff Ev

#16 14-04-06 15:44:01

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

I've just been out with my dad to get used to the sound of my own voice! As daft as it sounds it helps to get used to doing things at the right speed with the right amount of detail and in the right order. Last night we did cockpit drill and controls, today the same again but this time he said it sounded so much more confident and positive. I then briefed on moving off and stopping and then left emerging and changing up to 2nd gear. I know he can drive and it's not ideal practice but it's just so I can get used to the amount of detail I need to use etc to sound half confident. My phone's just beeped yay i've got another pupil.....(a proper one!)

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#17 14-04-06 16:40:41

luchell
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

That sounds like really good practise to me! I took my sister in law to practise briefings and ive taught my mum whose been driving 30 years BUT she still had LOADS i could teach her so its all great practice honestly lol

#18 14-04-06 21:50:14

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

On a slight change of note, when do you let your pupils drive home? I've been thinking about it and i'm guessing that when they can move off and stop safely and under control on different surfaces, steer to a good standard and have some basic understanding of other traffic ie priorities etc, emerged and turned at junctions on nursery routes and have covered basic crossroads on nursery/intermediate routes and possibly roundabouts then they should be ok with lots of guided instruction moving into prompted. Also how long do you find it takes the 'average' pupil to reach driving home standard?

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#19 14-04-06 22:13:43

evan
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

I tend to try and book new pupils in for weekends, whoosh, usually Sunday mornings if they can go, if they do ok and I consider the drive back to their house is not too demanding for them I let them drive home, otherwise, I drive, and let them drive the last bit up to their house, (mostly 17th birthdays, when Mum and Dad have the camera out). It's a big occasion for them, so that's why I do this. Ev

#20 15-04-06 20:15:17

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

I had another lesson today and it went a lot better than the first two! Went back to basics more, stayed below about 15mph to start with and concentrated on moving off and stopping using SCALP as his last lesson he was too fast and stopping over driveways etc. Concentrated on using just 1st and 2nd gear to start with and got up to 3rd once he was more confident with making a bit of progress and did some left emerging around the block 3 or 4 times with a slight hill start and moving off at angle thrown in. He was stopping ok but didn't really understand the kerb line into bonnet reference point for stopping position and asked if he could adjust his left door mirror slightly, he did so and the smile on his face when he stopped the car perfectly in line with the kerb was brilliant to see because of the adjustment. He realised adjusting the mirror gave him a better view of the kerb (something which I hadn't thought of as he was stopping ok but didn't realise it was more a bit of luck than judgement). I added a bit of variety at the end as he was doing well with the lefts and briefed a right emerge and then right turn major to minor just before the end. I came away feeling like i'd actually taught him something as I was a lot more in control than the first lesson and the route was so much more suitable, even though it took about 15 mins to get there. As I was a bit concious of this I added an extra 10 mins onto his lesson at the end and he seemed quite happy, paid for a block booking of 10 hours. Got him for another hour and a half tomorrow and same Monday so hopefully he'll be able to drive home if not tomorrow then almost certainly Monday. Fingers crossed!

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#21 16-04-06 11:09:22

luchell
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

WELL DONE! Told you it would get easier. You also need to learn to trust in your own abilities. I didnt realise that i didnt in the beginning. I would drive them home for some reason when now i would have them doing it as it doesnt phase me one bit. I must have deep down been doubting my ability to fully talk them through some of the route etc.

Initially i was putting it down to there are not ready until someone on here almost a year ago mentioned perhaps i needed to have more confidence in my own teaching.

So i did and off we went lol I am certainly not saying they are all ready to drive home after lesson one that takes time and practise to judge. But have faith if you are in an awkward situation.

heres one for you, i took this relative beginner to an area i really shouldnt have, i hadnt realised it was school kicking out time. Oh god i didnt know where to start i was going with the full guided non stop!! At one stage we were on a massive hill and had stalled, cars beeping behind. Out of my mouth came some words which were EXACTLY the opposite of what i was really thinking with a broad smile to " thats it you're doing brililiantly, great yes, start the car, ignore those behind. Great clutch to bite yep feet still etc " I was even smiling!!!!!!! In side i must admit i was terrified!!!!! yikes (She of course noticed nothing at all)

I did think she wont want to see me again, when i asked her at the end how did you find it sorry it was a bit busy traffic wise. She replied " it was fantastic can we do it again next week lol" That incident really helped me have more faith, we got out of it whole!

Nearly in a pile up 2 days ago thanks to an idiot at a muyltilaned roundabout. Once again my shooting star pupil, ten hours now brilliant car controller etc. We're stationary at the lights and i catch sight of a silver car trying to make a 4th lane inbetween us and the car in the middle lane. We were on the left about to come off. Lady behind too close etc. Sussed out the situation as pupil moved off he floored it in front of use by which time we were not crawling. I said loudly WATCH OUT there was a milli second if she didnt react for me to take the controls she did instantly slammed the brake on which was the only choice but after the week befores lesson when she saved us froim another idiot my faith in this girl allows me to intervene at the very last second. Anyone else i would have just stopped the car. Especially only ten hours in but this ones a real catch lol

We then heard a loud screech from behind the woman that was too close at the traffic lights again rather loudly i say OFF THE BRAKES! just in the nick of time she did to which i saw relief on the womans face behind. Rear ender in the making but it wouldnt have been my pupils fault. She took the only action possible.

Each time i have to snatch control of the car out of the blue i believe more and more in my own abilities to keep us safe not just give a briefing and spot the faults as such. You gota be as quick as a lightning strike in this job and i love it. I find it exciting!! Your pupils also develop trust in you after you've helped them out a couple of times.

Sorry about me stories it makes me really think about how far ive come and you are beginning to see this change as well. You wait in a couple of weeks you will feel so much more 'in place' in the passenger seat. I feel like im at home there lol So much still to learn and there always will be thats why i love this job SO much.


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#22 16-04-06 11:37:26

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,695
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Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Whooshi, your "first time" experiences are really no different from any other ADI's. One thing I've noticed: your ATTITUDE is a big plus for your future!


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#23 16-04-06 12:01:28

Andi
Member
Registered: 21-10-05
Posts: 1,382

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Well...fantastic post Luchell!

I must admit that the fear within is creeping in now......if i pass part 3 first time, i wont have had a pink licence and only really had a tiniest experience of a real life learner......all the ''what ifs'' and ''how will i'' are nudging into my brain abit. Sort of a fear of the unknown.....

Sorry, thats no help to anyone,  neutral

Andi


1.gif

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#24 16-04-06 13:45:36

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

Thanks luchell for that brilliant post, it really helps all of us keep going. Had 2 lessons this morning, 1 a 2 hour he had about 5 hours experience with another instructor and he knew the basics but I sensed that 2 hours was a bit long, he was starting to get a little bit worked up and cross with himself in the last half hour or so, I drove home he probably could have done it but it was quite a distance and so i'm sure he will on his next lesson. He had a few problems setting the gas so we went back to practising just setting the gas a few times and he did improve after that. Chose a very quite nursery route with a church about a quarter of a mile up this straight flat road on the left junction, of course it being Sunday morning it was wall to wall cars on the junction and near it. He coped ok with it but found that what with preparing the car their obs are the second priority to them (naturally at the beginning i know) Of course i'm making sure that it's safe before pulling out but I need to make sure that they are doing it too, which i don't feel I was doing enough of. He moves to Northampton in a month's time, 120 miles away from here and so he wont be with me for long, I did wonder why he's learning down here if he's moving, so probably wont be having many lessons with him unfortunately.

The second pupil is having 3 lessons in 3 days. Yesterday worked on basics, moving off and stopping safely, SCALP, slowed down his speed and right and left emerges. Started recapping some of yesterdays to get him back into it, had a couple of wobbles but after a while got him onto a busier road, started making a bit more progress and talked through a left 1st exit at a mini roundabout. His driving was ok. Decided there's only one definite way to find out if he can drive home, do it! It went ok a couple of stalls and some help with the steering for road position a couple of times and gave him lots of talk through and I think he was pleased that he did it, particularly as quite country roads it aint!

Seeing him again tomorrow just for an hour and he'll be driving from home. I thought maybe an hour would be enough at this stage if he's doing all the driving.

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#25 17-04-06 16:20:15

sw
Verified Member
Registered: 13-08-05
Posts: 230

Re: My first day on a Trainee Licence

I'm in a really good mood now...... big_smile The person that i taught first on my first day last Monday where it felt like the worst 2 hours of my life, has just phoned to book another lesson! It's really encouraged me that maybe he didn't think it was as bad as i did. This lesson's going to be a bit shorter an hour and a half and on a more suitable route. As my diary is still reasonably empty I can afford that if the lesson runs over by the odd 10 mins or so it's not a problem, so if he's doing well with something we can keep going a little bit longer rather than saying that's it we're done dot on time. It creates a bit of goodwill and hopefully will benefit me in the long run towards recommendations and he'll learn a bit more. 

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