My journey with AA Driving School
Why did you change lanes to become a driving instructor?
I worked for the council for 40 years before becoming a driving instructor. I had to drive a lot for my job, some days more than 100km a day. That taught me the connection between having a licence, being a safe driver and having a job.
You may get a car from work to do your job, but the rest all comes from you, the driving skill, the safety, the licence. I taught a friend’s kids to drive. I got them started on this journey. It was a rewarding experience and I wanted to help others too.
How did you decide to ride with AA Driving School?
I knew a person who was an AA Driving Instructor. That was my introduction to AA Driving School. I wanted to be a driving instructor and this seemed like a good option, something I could do in Dunedin. One of the things that appealed to me was the flexibility.
I still work on weekends as I did with my previous occupation. But it is my choice. I have more flexibility with the days I choose to give lessons and with the days that I need to do other things.
What drives you as a driving instructor?
I love the diversity of people I get to meet by being an AA Driving Instructor. I work with high school students, university students, young parents, older drivers too. I enjoy talking with parents of the students, helping their son or daughter on their driver licence journey. You see them progress in leaps and bounds, it is great to see this.
And I enjoy teaching experienced drivers be safer on the roads. I recently had a 92-year-old driver get training from me. I am happy that I helped that driver keep their licence and keep safe on the road. Older people still need to move around, still need to drive.
Tell us about the area you work in.
This being Dunedin, a large percentage of my students are university students. They are eager to learn and get their licence. If you live in the South, if you live in the Dunedin area, you need a driver licence because public transport cannot always take you exactly where you want to go when you want to go there.
What is the key to being a great driving instructor?
For me it is all about teaching the students to be safe and independent drivers from the beginning, as soon as you get your learner licence. In principle that is important, but the fact is that in this area it is hard to even get a job interview if you do not have a driver licence.
With a full licence, you get a foot in the door. With the skills to be a safe driver, you’re ready to start a career.