Our blog post today offers a meeting with Mike Taylor, a driving instructor with English School of Motoring. I spoke with Mike early evening after a full day behind the wheel (him not me - I’m much happier behind a desk)!
Tell us a little about your background and how you came to embark upon a career as a driving instructor.
“My career has been based around driving. I have had delivery jobs in the past and because I enjoyed driving I decided that teaching others this skill was the next step up. I really enjoy working for myself too. It offers you a certain sense of freedom that many other jobs can’t give”.
What sort of hours do you work and do these fit around family and personal life?
“I tend to work 6 days a week and usually around 40 hours. This can creep up to 50 on occasion if things get really busy. I can control my hours which is great and means they fit around my personal life. I usually start quite early and finish around 5/6pm”.
Which areas within the North East do you particularly focus upon?
“I teach people in Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Redcar and everywhere in-between”.
What are the challenges of being a driving instructor?
“I think it’s challenging for both the learner and the instructor, especially during a first lesson. The instructor needs to build up the learners confidence and the learner needs to have trust in their teacher from the word go. Crack this and the rest will come. Ensuring safety and creating a relaxing environment is important”.
In your opinion, is the driving test an easy one to accomplish?
Mike laughs at this point! “Well, for me personally it’s not hard”. I decide to chip in and tell Mike he should be able to pass with his eyes shut (although hope he doesn’t really try this)! Mike continues, “For a new driver it is certainly a tough test that’s judged by high standards. It can be quite daunting for anyone taking their test. As an instructor, it’s my job to make sure a person is ready, competent and as confident as they can be in a test situation”.
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone looking to take lessons?
“Try not to worry and trust your instructor to keep you safe. Ensure to listen every step of the way”.
What advice can you offer to someone looking to begin their career is driving instruction?
“Patience! It’s a huge factor. Build up a rapport with students, enjoy a laugh and a joke”.
I tell Mike that I have a couple of unrelated questions - he sounds curious!
Note - these questions were actually asked to interviewees at Google!
How much should you charge to wash all the windows in the city of London?
There is a pause - I can tell Mike is thinking hard about his answer! “Erm….. that’s a weird one! I don’t know”, (laughs) “£1 a window”? I tell Mike there is no right or wrong answer. Or is there…..?
How many times a day does a clock’s hands overlap?
“I did know this! I saw it on the tv the other night”. Pause…….. “I suppose it would be! Argh, I don’t know, I can’t remember”!
Thank you to Mike Taylor for an insight into your life as a driving instructor and how much you would charge to clean windows in London - fancy a career change Mike?