I've mentioned in a recent post, that I've got quite a few beginner pupils taking driving lessons at the moment, and since I only work part time as an ADI, I haven't had much interesting action to blog about.
There isn't much that really happens in the early stages of learning to drive, as I usually like to build up the individual's confidence, so we stay on the quite back roads, moving off, stopping, dealing with Junctions first off will be turning left from a major road to a minor road, then turning right again from major to minor. Next comes T Junctions or emerging as is the proper term, first emerging to turn left, and then emerging to turn right. Obviously I will vary the pace to suit the individual's progress, making sure that the pupil learns as well as having something challenging to tackle every so often.
All during this time, we might make one or two excursions to a more busy road, so we can get used to the traffic, and then back to the quiet roads. Now many pupils might see this as boring, but if they stick with it and become a bit consistent with these early driving lessons, then when they get to more busy roads they will enjoy the drive more, as the pressure of having cars behind you when you are trying to do a hill start at a T Junction trying to turn right could cause you to lose confidence if you are thrown in the deep end on your first lesson with T Junctions!
One of the main things that I notice with pupils is the tendency to isolate the theory from what goes on in the car! The purpose of the theory test is to make sure you are aware of the rules and regulations that govern driving in the UK, procedures for dealing with particular situations, understand road signs and signals and provide you with the necessary information to prepare you for the practical test. Yet many pupils fail to use this knowledge. Last Saturday I had a pupil driving on some part of the road that was protected by hatchings, I asked what do those markings mean, to which I got the answer 'do not enter unless emergency' and I asked why did you use it when there was space on the left? 'I don't know'! How do you expect to pass the practical UK driving test if you don't use the information you have learnt while studying for the theory test!
My elderly lady pupil has done a runner on me, she hasn't had a driving lesson for a while, I really haven't chased her, as I have replaced her Sunday afternoon slot with another pupil who has had tuition before, but suffers from a lack of confidence. I have in the past 3 weeks or so boosted her confidence a bit, her driving is much more smoother, and we were able to cover bay parking to the left last Sunday which she had never done before. Towards the end of the lesson she did this with little input from me, I just hope she remembers the points of turn, and procedures for next week so we can proceed unto bay parking to the right.