So, you’ve been searching around for the best deals, but how do you know you’re going to get a good driving instructor? This post will help you to find a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent.
If you want to learn to drive in Stoke on Trent you will need to learn what are know as ‘show me tell me’ questions. When you are learning to drive, your driving instructor, at some point, will talk to you about these Show Me Tell Me questions. They will normally incorporate them into your driving lessons, but you will need to do a little bit of studying yourself to learn all of the questions.
What are Show Me Tell Me questions, and when will they be asked?
Show Me Tell Me questions were introduced into the UK driving test to help learners understand the use of the cars ancillary controls, and to help them make basic maintenance checks related to the car. The subjects covered by these questions are things that you really need to know if you want to be driving, and will help you to perform basic maintenance checks to keep you and you car safely on the road. At the start of your driving test you will be asked 2 of these show me tell me questions.
What if I don’t know the answer, or get the question wrong?
The answers don’t need to be word perfect, or textbook answers. All the examiner is looking for, is that you have a general knowledge, and have a reasonable idea about what has been asked. However, if you do answer the question entirely wrong, or can’t give an answer, 1 driving (minor) fault will be recorded on your driving test report for each question answered incorrectly. So you could end up with 2 driving faults before you’ve even started to drive!
So, what questions could I be asked?
There are 19 questions that the driving test examiner may ask you. It’s important to listen to what they ask of you, and whether they want you to physically do something or whether they just want you to explain something to them. Below is a list of all the questions you may be asked. Click on the question to view our post with an instructional video, full guidance with the answers and reasons you would need to do the checks:
– Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
– Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine).
– Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
– Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.
– (Show me) Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.
– (Show me) Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
– (Show me) Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
– Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only)
– Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
– Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.
– Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle)
– Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
– Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
– Tell Me where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
– Tell Me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
– Tell Me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
– Tell Me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
– Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working. (No need to exit vehicle)
– Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.
Would you like to learn to drive in Stoke on Trent?
Drive Ahead School of Motoring are based in Stoke on Trent and offer great driving lessons at competitive prices with free online theory training. You will benefit from the most modern teaching techniques helping you to pass your test faster and become a safer drive.
Call us today on 01782 906010 to book your first lesson!
As a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent I wanted to share with you my thoughts about the need for CPD and how easy it easy to go about it.
For people not associated with the driving instructor profession, most have no idea about the training involved in becoming a driving instructor or the necessary continuous professional development (CPD) that is required to stay at the top of the game. I say necessary CPD as its’s not compulsory. In my opinion CPD should stand for Compulsory Professional Development!
At present, once qualified, a driving instructor may never do any more training for the rest of their life! How crazy is that? Can you think of any other job or profession that once you’ve started on day 1, you never have to train again? I do admit that to become a driving instructor in the first place requires a lot of work, studying, practice, and dedication, but I qualified at 24 and may do this job until I retire at maybe 65-70 years of age. That’s 40 years or more, and at the moment there’s nothing in place to say that I have to become a better instructor or improve my skills during this time.
But what about the check test?
Approximately every 2-5 years every driving instructor that wishes to remain on the DSA’s register of approved driving instructors must complete a check test. This is a normal 1 hour lesson which a senior examiner sits in the back, watches the lesson, and gives feedback at the end, along with a grading for the instructor. The grading scale is from 1-6. If you are given a 1,2 or 3 then this is below the accepted standard and a further test will be carried out within a couple of months. If you are given a 4,5 or 6 then you may remain on the register. The higher your grade, the better the standard of the lesson you gave, and the longer the gap will be until the next check test.
The DSA however has finally realised that the way that driving lessons were taught in the 20th Century are maybe now a little dated and improvements now need to be made in the way that driving lessons are delivered. At the time of writing I am led to believe that proposed check test changes are to be implemented in April 2014, leading to a more client centred learning style of teaching. From what I’ve already read and from meetings I’ve attended, big changes are coming and there is only going to be one way to adapt to these changes and that is CPD!
So, what is CPD for Driving Instructors?
CPD is anything that can help you to learn or broaden your mind. It may be reading a blog like this, attending a local driving instructors meeting, reading newsletters or articles, or even attending courses and workshops. In Stoke on Trent we have an excellent local Driving Instructors Association (NSDIA) which holds monthly meetings to discuss a range of topics and has some great guest speakers. This meeting takes up just 2 hours of our time on one evening a month, but if you were to turn up for every meeting in the year, you would easily amass 24 hours of CPD, which is approximately 3 days worth, and it’s free of charge!
You may decide to go out and get a book about instruction, I’m currently reading ‘can drivers really teach themselves’ by Ian Edwards, which is a great book about coaching and CCL techniques. It cost about a tenner, and has given me loads of food for thought. Again, reading (and probably re-reading) this book is easily going to add up the hours on your CPD journey. I’ve read about half of this book and started to implement some of his thoughts into my own teaching, but I know I still have a lot of changes to make.
You may decide to go on a course, some can be free and some can be very expensive, but you’ll be going to listen to professionals help you to become a better driving instructor.
So is Driving Instructor CPD really necessary?
Last week I had my check test and got a grade 5, which I was really happy with. My previous 2 have been grade 4’s. I feel that this was down to my new ‘coaching’ approach and the result of around 10 days of CPD over the past 12 months. Could I have achieved this result without any CPD? No, I don’t think I could, and I know though that I must continue to work and refine my teaching so that next time I can hopefully get a grade 6!
So what I’m trying to say is no matter how great a driving instructor you are (or think you are), there’s always room for improvement, and it’s really easy to build up your knowledge, and it doesn’t have to cost the Earth! By continuing to better yourself, and the instruction that you give in the long run will provide better results for your pupils, and hopefully better recommendation rates, and even better – increased lesson prices – and who doesn’t want that?
Please feel free to leave any comments you might have about this post and why not subscribe to my blog for further posts? My next blog will be about how I prepared for my check test
My name’s Dave Shannon and I’m a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent where I run a small school with 3 driving instructors – www.driveahead.co.uk