Welcome to Part 7 of Jess’ Driving Diary. The Driving Diary will be a weekly blog of the driving lessons for a 17 year old pupil but will be from the perspective of both the pupil and the instructor. Our aim is to help learners understand that the challenges they encounter are dealt with by most pupils and that they need not be as nervous about driving as they think. It will allow them to follow the lessons from the beginning to test of Jess Smith and her driving instructor Nick Freeman. We will hopefully bring you the emotions, practical and technical elements of learning to drive.
The Pupil – Jess Smith
Jess Smith is a 17 year old young lady who hails from the glamorous town of Southend on Sea in Essex. She is a generally confident person. Jess enjoys her sport and has good eye hand coordination, which will definitely help whilst learning to drive. Jess is presently studying A Level English Language, English Literature, History and RE. Her long term goals are to become a primary school teacher.
Nick Freeman is a Southend on Sea based driving instructor with 9 years’ experience in teaching people to drive cars. Nick spent 24 years in the Navy where he defended this great Isle of ours and got the bug for training people albeit in a completely different style and without the guns of course. For his sins Nick is a West Ham fan but we don’t generally hold that against him. With a great sense of humour Jess is definitely going to enjoy her driving lessons!
JESS: Today was another hour lesson and it was also my first proper day back at school since before all of my exams so it was a bit of a shock to the system. I also wasn’t very well that morning but felt a lot better by the afternoon which was when my driving lesson was.
NICK: The lesson was for an hour today, Jess had not been well today and had a busy day before the lesson. The last lesson didn’t go too well and I got the feeling Jess has loss a bit of of confidence.
JESS: Again, this was another recap lesson because it was only an hour and after last week I needed to get the basic skills back before moving onto something more complicated. There isn’t much to say for this week other than the fact that it was another bad lesson with me taking a while to get back into driving and making silly mistakes.
NICK: I took her back to basics but to be honest it didn’t go too well. Again Jess was making silly mistakes through lack of confidence, but that will come back.
JESS: My mirrors are normally quite good but for some reason I kept forgetting to check them before breaking. I was repeating the same mistakes as I did last week when I kept forgetting to go into first gear and putting the hand break on when stopping at traffic lights. There were points where Nick was talking to me and I wasn’t even acknowledging him.
NICK: Overall not a good lesson we seem to have hit a plateau, this has hit Jess as she is very intelligent and she cannot understand why she is making these same old mistakes. What has happened to Jess is very common, if it happens to a pupil they should not let it affect their confidence. It is up to the instructor to change the style of teaching.
JESS: I am scared that I’ve hit a wall in driving and had a mental block and it has made me lose my confidence a bit because I’m forgetting the basic things. If I can’t even get the basic skills right then how am I supposed to move onto things a bit more complicated such as manoeuvres?
NICK: The next lesson I shall move on to something new so that Jess will not dwell on her errors of past and focus on a new challenge. After that I will re approach the errors she made before.