What Makes a Good Driving Instructor?

The prospect of learning how to drive is an exciting one. Being able to operate a vehicle opens up opportunities that riding a bike or taking public transportation don’t afford, which is why getting a drivers license is one of life’s most cherished milestones. That being said, driving is also a big responsibility that requires full focus on doing everything possible to keep all parties on the road safe.  

A large part of becoming a competent and responsible driver starts with being taught the right skills from the very beginning of the learning process, which is why selecting an effective driving instructor is so important. Setting the proper foundation from the start goes a long way in helping someone develop the ability to make smart decisions behind the wheel. 

Whether you’re an aspiring driver looking for the right person to help you master safe driving skills or a parent of a teenager who is ready to get behind the wheel, here are a few important characteristics to keep in mind when searching for a driving instructor: 

Ability to Communicate Clearly

For those who are just learning how to drive, all of the moving parts of operating a vehicle can be a bit overwhelming. Seasoned drivers take for granted how second nature it feels to them now, but between adjusting mirrors, making head checks before switching lanes, determining the right of way, and braking with the right amount of pressure, there are quite a few things to keep track of simultaneously when navigating down the road. 

Effective driving instructors have solid communication skills and can break down all of the important steps into easily digestible chunks rather than hitting students with an overload of information. Students will know what they are expected to do because the instructor’s directions are straightforward and easy to understand. 

Additionally, feedback is necessary anytime you are working to develop a new skill, as it guides you towards improvement and away from actions that compromise your success. When it comes to learning how to drive, a good instructor will comment on what you are doing right, and when it’s necessary to provide constructive criticism, he/she should be able to demonstrate where things can be improved upon in a way that is encouraging rather than belittling. This will help you feel inspired to do better the next time rather than feel anxious about disappointing the instructor in the future. 

Patience During Stressful Situations

As with learning anything new, mistakes are bound to happen when first starting to drive. It’s the instructor’s job to analyze a student’s current ability and tailor the driving lessons in a way that minimizes the seriousness that potential mistakes could lead to. 

That being said, stressful situations can still arise, and students sometimes have difficulty mastering a skill (such as parallel parking) even after many attempts to get it right, leaving them feeling frustrated and discouraged. 

No matter how stressful things get during these lessons, your driving instructor should always remain patient and understanding rather than show frustration. You should not feel ashamed to make a mistake. After all, it’s how we all learn and improve, and every instructor out there was once in your shoes as a brand new motorist. No one immediately masters every part of the driving process, and a good teacher knows that being calm and supportive is much better fuel for building confidence and competence. 

Passion for Creating an Engaging Learning Environment  

Creating an effective learning environment means more than being able to give out directions and follow protocols, though these are important. It’s also about making students excited to show up, grow their skills, and get closer to reaching their goals. Enthusiasm is contagious, and passionate teachers often get through to their students in a way that makes the material truly meaningful, which leads to stronger skill development and knowledge retention.

When searching for a driving instructor, seek one out who is professional and demonstrates expertise, but also look for someone who works diligently to make the learning atmosphere a warm place where you can feel comfortable to ask questions and actually engage in the experience. Instructors who make it clear that they love what they get to do everyday are much more likely to interpret their students’ success as their own, ensuring they will be fully invested in their students’ progress. 

Employed By a Driving School With a Solid Reputation

All states have their own requirements, but in Colorado, all driving instructors must be employed by a commercial driving school (rather than working as an independent, private instructor). 

Naturally, you want to feel safe and comfortable with the person who is responsible for showing you how to operate a vehicle. Taking time to research the driving school you’re considering can help you assess if the company is credible and whether or not the driving instructors employed there would be a good match. 

To determine if the driving school is right for you, ask questions such as:

  • Are there credible, positive reviews of the driving school online?
  • Has the company been around for a while? Is the school credited with reliable organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau or AAA Approved Driving Schools?
  • What qualifications must the driving instructors hold, and what does their training program involve? What background check requirements must be met?
  • Are the vehicles the company uses equipped with modern safety features?
  • What will the driving lessons involve? Is scheduling easy and flexible?

Employees tend to be a reflection of the company they work for, so if the school you research seems to be reliable and trusted by your community, it’s a good sign that the driving instructors will be able to provide the quality lessons you’re looking for. 

Closing Up

Hopefully this information helps you form a mental checklist in what to look for when searching for an effective, reliable driving instructor. 

At the end of the day, it is important that a driving instructor holds the right certifications, but it also goes a long way if he/she has the right personality as well. A teacher should serve as a student’s advocate, creating an environment where students clearly understand what is expected of them, are safe to make and learn from mistakes, and are engaged in an atmosphere where they feel excited to learn and are thoroughly supported throughout the entire process. 

DriveSafe Driving Schools Employs Only the Best Driving Instructors In Colorado

DriveSafe Driving Schools is proud to be known as the largest and most trusted driving school in Colorado. A large part of maintaining this title relies on us working with state-certified driving instructors who are highly trained and who also have a natural passion for teaching the rules of the road. 

We work hard with our instructors to ensure our students gain the skills they need to become safe drivers, and we also aim to create a learning experience that students genuinely look forward to and enjoy. 

Whether you’re in need of one-on-one driving lessons, a comprehensive drivers ed course, or a drivers license road test, we can help! Browse our services, or get in touch with any questions. We can’t wait to help you get on the road!

Thinking About Becoming a Driving Instructor in Colorado? We Are Hiring!

Barron Education has been named a Top Colorado Workplace for seven consecutive years in a row by the Denver Post, and we are excited to announce that we are currently working to expand our amazing team! We are looking for enthusiastic individuals to help us with our mission of teaching students the important, lifelong skill of learning how to drive. 

If you have a passion for driving and the idea of making a major difference in many students’ lives excites you, browse our driving instructor career page for more information on what we are looking for and what the position entails. We look forward to hearing from you!

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BEHIND THE WHEEL TRAINING

The behind the wheel experience includes:

  • A basic skills refresher (identifying and addressing any bad habits)
  • Defensive skills maneuvers
  • Parking lot skills – ability to safely navigate into tight spots by using mirrors without over-relying on new technologies
  • Any additional skills that are required for your organization (e.g., pulling trailers)

CLASSROOM SESSION

The classroom experience includes:

  • Safety driving principles
  • Defensive driving techniques (vehicle control and crash avoidance skills)
  • Driver attitude and responsibility
  • Distracted driving awareness
  • A refresher of the rules (most drivers have not been tested since they were 15)
  • A chance to introduce the rules that are “new” to experienced drivers

FLEET SAFETY PLAN

Your customized plan will:

  • Set expectations for your employees
  • Demonstrate your company’s commitment to a safe work environment
  • Reduce liability
  • Reflect your company’s priorities and particular requirements