Stephen Mather - under the spotlight
Today we took the time to catch up with Stephen Mather, who is a dedicated driving instructor in South Sheilds. Stephen has worked with a number of students across the South Sheilds and Sunderland area whilst being with us at driveJohnson's and has received a tremendous amount of fantastic reviews.
We wanted to catch up with Stephen to find out why he loves his job and what he enjoys doing in his spare time!
What’s life like at driveJohnson’s?
I’m enjoying it immensely. I’m very busy, but I’ve always loved working with different people since I was a trainer at colleges years ago, so I’m getting a great deal of job satisfaction. Everyone knows that’s the holy grail!
What is your best moment as a driving instructor so far?
My very first lesson was a great relief. During my training, things had been going well but you never quite know how it’s going to go when you’re left on your own and in charge for the first time. Thankfully it went brilliantly, and I’ve had many great moments since. Probably the best regular moment I have is when I’ve taught a pupil something, and it clicks into place with them.
Why did you become a driving instructor?
I’d been working for an engineering company for a few years but felt I was becoming stale doing the same thing over and over, day after day. I’d heard good things about being a driving instructor, and when I researched it, I was really interested. After all, the last thing being a driving instructor leads to is having the same thing happen every day. It also seemed to build on the skills I have from a previous career teaching in colleges too.
What would you be doing if you wasn’t a driving instructor?
My ideal job would have been in football. Both my Dad and I played to a pretty decent standard, and I coached and managed for a few years too.
What is the scariest/trickiest moment you’ve had as an instructor?
Some pupils are so excited to get going and have no fear about getting behind the wheel. This led to one of my first pupils flooring the accelerator on their first time in the car. I had to use the duel controls straightaway to avoid going in the back of the car in front!
Who do you look up to?
My sons always impress me with what they have accomplished. They both have good jobs, but most importantly they have lovely families, and I have four grandkids from them.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
Without a doubt, say goodbye to my wonderful parents. Me and my boys carried them into their final resting place each time, and it’s just the worst thing. But I was proud that I’d done it as I know it’s what they wanted
What do you do in your spare time?
I spend as much time as I can with my fantastic and supportive wife Lorraine, my family and friends. Family especially are the most important thing in my life.
What is your claim to fame?
At a Deacon Blue concert, I got a thumbs up from the drummer at the end!
Do you have any hobbies?
Watching football (especially my team, the famous Accrington Stanley) and rugby, reading and socialising – probably with the odd drop or 4 of Famous Grouse!
And finally, tell us something different about you…
I strive for perfection in all I do and try to pass that onto my pupils as well. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly, and teaching driving, and driving itself, is no different.