22 years ago…
This is a day I rarely let pass without some thought; January 29th. You see, this was the day 22 years ago that I was hired to become a driving instructor. It was a day that changed my life. Do you have a day like that in your life?
I wanted to change jobs and try to find something that I could call a career. I wanted to be a teacher, but staying longer in school wasn’t something that I would look forward to. I like people and I also liked to drive, so why not combine the two, right?
During my training course I learned the curriculum of Young Drivers of Canada, but I also learned how to communicate better. It’s really helped me in life too. It has given me life skills to help me be a better dad, husband and friend.
When I’m training people to become driving instructors for Young Drivers of Canada, I will ask them why they decided to be a driving instructor. I often hear some of the same reasons. They tell me they like to drive and that they want to help people. I’ve even taught people who have previously taught in the public school system, but found their love for driving to have gotten in their way of teaching.
They all don’t have the passion for saving lives when they started; nor did I when I started. It grows on you if you’re pointed in the right direction. Luckily, I was pointed in the right direction and I had a number of good instructors to bounce ideas off of. A lot of those instructors that I communicated with in the early years are still around doing this job; which tells you something about their passion too.
I’ve taught thousands of people in these 22 years and most of them were great to spend time with. I’ve made some friends from the people I’ve taught and have expanded my role as a driving instructor to include other things that I love to do; public relations. Talking about road safety is a new passion and something I find hard to turn off. I can go on for hours and hours if given the chance. I’ve learned to pick and choose when to talk about it and my close friends have appreciated it.
Years ago when my wife and I had 2 kids and not 4, she had the chance to have the 2 boys stay in day care while she stayed at home. I told her to do that so she could have a “me day” – a day that allowed he to do anything she wanted. At the end of that day I asked how she enjoyed herself and she said it was great. I then told her that I wanted a “me day” for myself. She reminded me that each time I went to work, it was a “me day” because I enjoy myself so much. Don’t you hate it when they’re right?
When I decided 22 years ago that I was becoming a driving instructor, I was told by someone outside of the industry that I couldn’t make a living from it. Well, 22 years, thousands of happy people, a house, a wife and 4 kids later, I think I’m doing okay. How did you do?