Since I started teaching people to drive 16 years ago, I have come across a number of pupils who are nervous about driving. Most people who come to my driving school who are nervous feel like they are the only ones who feel like this. In fact feeling nervous about driving is fairly common. A good opening question that a driving instructor could ask is “how are you feeling about learning to drive?” Never be afraid to tell your instructor truly how you feel.
In the past I have made the mistake of assuming the pupil was fine and that the more I encouraged them the better it would be and the quicker they would learn. After years of experience I have discovered this is normally not the case in most pupils.
No two pupils are the same. There is not a “one size fits all” solution. It is important to adapt lessons to suit each individual.
There are 4 main learning styles:
Visual – some pupils like to see diagrams, demonstrations and videos of how to drive
Auditory – some pupils like to listen to an explanation
Read – some pupils will want to read lots of information possibly from a book and they may also like to take lots of notes
Kinaesthetic – some pupils learn by trial and error i.e. they want to give it a go and see how it feels
A nervous pupil is not normally someone who will be kinaesthetic. They are more likely to be one of the other three. By asking “how best would you like to learn this” may result in the pupil simply telling you what they prefer and how they learn best. However some pupils literally don’t know their preferred style so a better why is to provide some options. For example many people don’t instinctively know that a demonstration is an option unless I offer it to them. I know myself that I learn best from seeing something done first and many other people do too.
Another option is “job sharing” which is a way to help the pupil focus on one task while you take care of other aspects of the drive. For example I may offer the option for me to take control of the speed of the car while the pupil takes care of the steering. By taking away the need to worry about the speed, the pupil is able to focus fully on the steering. In time the job of controlling the speed can be handed back to the pupil.