Newly qualified instructor resources
If you are reading this, you may be newly qualified and looking for extra tips, new to the business or maybe just open minded.
Here are some recommended instructor resources and bits and bobs that will make your job either easier or benefit your pupils.
We hope to have our own version of road board for Apps ready for summer time 2018. Until then, this is a must for your learners. Choose the road type you want to use for demonstration such as Left turn – major to minor or double roundabout. Then add the vehicles onto the junction area. you can add pedestrians, dogs, lorries, you can swivel the angle of the cars, draw arrows and more. There’s an old saying a picture is worth a thousand words – this will do the talking/analysis for you!
Steering wheel cover
It’s a classic but works well for those struggling with their steering. Some instructors say to the pupil, “go home and practice with a dinner plate.” For £3.99 your pupil can practise their steering techniques with you in the car. It may not suddenly make their steering test standard but it will help. If you are taking a standards check, using the steering wheel cover when necessary will show the examiner you think outside the box and have more than one remedial for every problem.
You need a minimum of one rear view mirror for the passenger side for you (instructor) or the examiner to see what is behind you. However, you can also have an extra mirror in the top left which is known as the eye ball mirror (some instructors may call it something else). It’s an easy way of checking your pupils are using their mirrors at the right time without constantly staring at them. This extra mirror is useful when your pupils are approaching test standard, sometimes they will notice you are looking at them and then check their mirrors. With the eye ball mirror they will lose that mini prompt from you and check the mirrors when necessary and not when you look at them.
Focal point stickers
Focal points may not work for every pupil but they will definitely work for some. Examiners appreciate focal points on standards checks – so what does that tell you?
In order for focal points to work you will need to invest 30-60 minutes in your car practising the basics, like stopping on the left and putting a sticker on an area on the dash of your car which looks in line with the kerb.
2 blind spot mirrors for your door mirrors
Blind spot mirrors are great to assist you and your pupil with manoeuvres. Instead of adjusting the large door mirror to face the kerb on a parallel park you can use the blind spot mirror to see the kerb. They are also very useful for bay park to see the lines and judging the kerb when you pull up the left (checking the car is straight and parallel to the kerb).
Obviously we are going to be biased and say ours is the best out there ;-)
What we can say is ours looks more professional than what the DIA are doing and many other recognised organisations. So look the part with a decent lesson planner and stop drawing on pieces of paper or using photocopied lesson plans from the 1990s.
Look the part, feel the part!
TomTom Start 52
Pupils should be able to use any Sat Nav, so what’s the point of buying the one they are using for the driving test? That’s what many instructors might say, and they are right.
However, how much do you want your pupil’s to pass? By using the same Sat Nav, your pupil get use to the layouts, terminology used by the voiceover and with this particular Sat Nav, you could record independent driving routes easily so it’s like for like at the test centre.
Sat Nav Mat
The examiners should try to avoid putting the Sat Nav on the windscreen. So they will come into your vehicle with a mat to place the sat nav onto the dash of the car.
In some cars it’s impossible to use a mat, so they will resort to sticking the sat nav onto the windscreen. If you vehicle has a fairly flat dash board area then it might be worth buying the mat so you can replicate the sat nav position the examiners are suing on test day.
Dash cam (front & back)
According to an article in the telegraph newspaper, 5% of drivers on the road are uninsured. That’s possibly 1 in 20 cars. If you are doing 40 hours a week on the roads, the odds of you having an accident with uninsured driver will inevitably be higher.
During 2017, we had 3 driveJohnson’s instructors who were hit from behind by another vehicle, however, the defendant said the learner either rolled back into them or they put the car into reverse and hit them. This caused a basic accident that used to be black and white to become 50/50 with the insurers.
If you have a dash cam this will defend you 100%. Dash cams are also great for lane discipline accidents on roundabouts or changing lanes on dual carriageways etc.
Try to by a dual dash cam but even a forward facing one is better than nothing.
Mock test sheets/forms are a great way to show the pupil how the test is marked and what to expect. Many pupils have no idea of the standards until they take their test. It’s always worth doing a few mock tests in advance so you can prepare your pupil in advance and they can’t say they were surprised afterwards.
Some pupils who are short may benefit from sitting on a pillow as well as have the seat position raised.
Just try it yourself – crouching down and having the same view as the pupil over the steering wheel, you may understand why they can’t see the kerb very well and their positioning is often poor.
It’s another remedial you can use, which will show your pupil that you are trying new solutions to their problems.
It’s a cold day and it’s the first test of the morning, your sitting in the back and you can see your examiner leaning forwards trying to get badge, fighting with the pocket, back of the shirt comes up, arse half hanging out etc, etc. Then when he gets your ADI number he has to put it back and then it drops into the front of the grill on the dash (examiner is boiling with frustration inside now).
Take the pain away from the examiner by using one of these holders for £2.99 and save yourself time trying to get your ADI badge out off the front air vent of your car where it’s fallen down.
What driveJohnson’s provides free of charge
- Progress cards
- Roof sign
- Receipt books
- Compliment slips
- Lesson planner
- Pass first time key rings
- Standards Check literature
- Online theory training for your pupils – better than the free app available on phones
- Polo shirts, fleeces and jackets