Route Planning, one of the most underrated skills of a driving instructor

Route Planning, one of the most important skills of a driving instructor. This short article explains of the skill of route planning and why you need to be trained on it to be successful as an ADI. Most of you will already know that one of the competencies under Lesson Planning on an ADI Part 3 or standards check is,” Were the practice areas suitable”. Picking the correct area is essential, as picking the wrong ones can be either create a disastrous or monotonous driving lesson. What I mean by disastrous is the area you take your pupil to, may be too difficult for them to cope with. I recently, took on a pupil who had lesson with another instructor, who got them to drive another pupil home (a practice called piggy backing). Her first ever lesson (she had never driven before) was on main dual carriageways and medium sized busy roundabouts. She mentioned that she can’t cope and was frightened. With this level of anxiety, virtually no new learning takes place, and therefore her lesson was hence wasted. On her first lesson with me, she mentioned that she wanted to stay on her housing estate, I agreed as she mentioned that she could handle this level of risk at the moment. On the other hand, the route shouldn’t be something that your pupil can very easily manage, as there is no challenge for them. For our pupils to learn they must be placed slightly out of their comfortable zone in an area that might require input from their trainer or instructor whilst on the move. If you pupil didn’t need any input from their instructor, when they shouldn’t be working on that chosen subject, unless they have requested to see if they perform it a number of times, before they move onto something else. The training route you use, is also best repeated, to demonstrate to either your pupil, yourself or to an ADI Examiner that learning is taking place. If learning is not taking place you might want to modify your lesson plan. Also, the route you use on the lesson, needs to include situations to help achieve the goal that has been set for the lesson. For instance, if the goal set is for road positioning when turning right at roundabouts, you would need to include this a number of times on that lesson. Another important element of route planning is having suitable places to stop to reflect on the lesson or modify the lesson plan. Also, the route may be changed if your pupil is starting to find the route too easy (you may want to offer more challenge), your pupil is finding the route too hard (you might want to offer less challenge) or you pupil or you might want to set another goal for the session. In summary use a route that is in line with your pupils needs and objectives to stretch them slight out of their comfort zone, they need to be repeatable, include situations to help them achieve their goal and have places you can park to help the pupil reflect or for you to modify the lesson plan.