Becoming a driving instructor is one of the most rewarding careers you can have. But what is it actually like teaching new learners how to drive? We sat down with My Four Wheels Head of ADI Training, Stephen Bawa, who has also been an instructor for the last 4 years to get some real insight into what life on the road is like.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a former school teacher living in Manchester with my wife and two children. I decided to retrain when we relocated 6 years ago and I've been working as an ADI for almost 4 years.
What made you become a driving instructor?
I've always enjoyed driving and my former career was focused around education and required good social skills. I was attracted to driving instruction because I wanted a more flexible career that allowed me to create time for my young family and allowed me to make use of my existing skillsets.
How does being a driving instructor compared to the other jobs you’ve had?
Compared to my former career and previous jobs, I would say that driving instruction has been the most rewarding and proved to yield the greatest opportunities for personal growth. I've also found that the sky's the limit with regards to how far I can build and develop my own professional skills; whether branching out into other training (e.g. fleet, instructor training or advanced skills) or learning new complementary skills (video editing to produce resources for my pupils), there is so much scope to grow my business and my abilities.
What’s the most rewarding part of the job?
Helping people achieve their driving goals is quite literally life changing for many pupils and knowing I've helped them overcome anxieties and develop confidence and skill is incredibly satisfying. Also, on a personal note, I take pride in knowing that my pupils have a clear understanding of what constitutes safe, skillful driving and that the habits they've formed with me will help keep them away from dangerous situations.
What’s the worst part of the job?
The worst part of the job for me is the probably the tight muscles from long days sat down. Naturally this is true in many jobs, but I quickly appreciated the importance of regular exercise to counterbalance the sedentary nature of the job. It's also really important to periodically get out of the car and stretch!
Any tips for people who are thinking about becoming a driving instructor?
For anybody looking to become an ADI, I would advise them to do their research; speak to other instructors and find out their experiences. Sit in on a lesson if possible and observe what modern driving instruction looks and feels like. Have a clear idea what you're looking to get out of it and find out if it will help you meet those goals. It's an incredibly enriching profession but you must be prepared to work hard, make mistakes and learn well to build your business.
If you'd like to find out more about training to become a driving instructor with My Four Wheels, you can find out more here.