My journey with AA Driving School
Why did you change lanes to become a driving instructor?
When I got my licence, we used to go from learner to full in no time. We never had any proper driver training. Looking back, I wish we had. It is something we needed to become safer drivers. I have a teenager and I want my child to not only have their licence but be a safe driver. Getting your licence is a valuable safety spec, that you know the basics. Driver training takes you further to make you a safer driver.
I want to make sure that other teenagers also have the same opportunity. It is not just about young drivers though. I wanted to help older drivers keep their licences, keep safe on the road. In this part of NZ, you need your licence, you really do. And this is the way I could give back to the community that I grew up in.
How did you decide to ride with AA Driving School?
I used to work as a bus driver before. I had a co-worker who became a driving instructor with AA Driving School. He recommended that I join the network of AA Driving Instructors. I did my training with AA, and it was a natural choice to apply to join the AA Driving Instructor network.
AA Driving School needed someone for the Whangarei region, so it was a good opportunity for me to move back to this area and to do something meaningful for the community.
What drives you as a driving instructor?
I don’t think of this as a job. I am happy to make a living as a driving instructor, but my main motivation is that I am doing something that makes a difference. When you see the kids smile when they get their licence, when they tell you “I passed”, that is what makes my day. And the kids, they remember you, because you made a difference in their lives.
As a driving instructor I guide people through the whole journey, from giving them good tips for their learner licence test, to preparing them for their full licence test.
Tell us about the area you work in.
Well, the thing about this area is that you need to drive. The young ones over here, they need a future, they need a driver licence, and they need to drive safely. It’s hard to get a job up here without a licence.
The great thing about this area is that people help each other out. When you get your licence, when you learn to be a safe driver, you can help yourself and you are in a position to help others too.
What is the key to being a great driving instructor?
You need to make it fun for the students, and you need to be patient, very patient. I get some really anxious students. With patience and encouragement, they make progress, they overcome obstacles. With the right guidance, all students can learn to drive. I really believe that. Everyone can learn to drive.