LIVE at the Expo - Driving instructor presentations

Published on 5 November 2023 at 19:10

In the second podcast of season 6, Terry interviews Richard Storrs about a recent Expo event and upcoming events in the driving instructor industry. The event, held at Newark showground in Nottinghamshire, achieved record attendance numbers of 961, marking a 23% increase from the previous year. The success of the event can be attributed to its new location, good weather, and the inclusion of various activities, including HGV reversing challenges and electric vehicle displays.


Richard discusses the efforts to keep the event fresh, with new speakers and diverse subjects covered, emphasizing the desire to provide value and education to driving instructors who come from various parts of the country. He also encourages potential presenters to reach out with proposals for future events.


The conversation touches on areas of improvement, such as long queues during registration, and Richard mentions plans to implement electronic tickets and additional seating for the next event. Terry acknowledges the importance of the free events and offers constructive feedback, expressing gratitude for the opportunities provided to driving instructors.


Richard then shares details about the upcoming events, including the National Conference at Newark showground in September and a new paid event in May at Yarnfield Park Conference and Event Center. The latter includes a residential package for attendees, with early bird discounts available. Richard provides the website,, as a resource for event information and newsletters.


The Instructor Podcast LIVE: 


The Instructor Podcast Live featured host Terry Cook and guest Sophie Thomson, discussing the intersection of mindfulness and driving instruction. Terry and Sophie started by addressing the stress and challenges faced by driving instructors. Sophie, a Mindful Theory trainer, shared her insights on how mindfulness can be integrated into driver training.


Sophie explained that as a relatively new driver, she struggled with anxiety during her own driving lessons. She found that the mindfulness techniques she used to manage her anxiety could be applied to driver training. Sophie emphasized the importance of combining mindfulness with theory to help learners manage their nerves during driving lessons and tests.


They discussed various types of learners, including those with anxiety, ADHD, or dyslexia, and how mindfulness can assist these individuals in understanding and applying theory effectively.


Terry and Sophie also touched on the stress experienced by driving instructors, who often work long hours and have various responsibilities. They discussed the need for instructors to prioritize self-care and find a balance in their work-life routines. Sophie encouraged instructors to take breaks, check in with themselves between lessons, and consider their well-being to prevent burnout.


The conversation highlighted the importance of instructors finding personalized strategies for self-care and stress management. The episode concluded with the audience sharing their own self-care practices, such as spending time in their allotments, participating in sports, and practicing martial arts. Sophie encouraged everyone to find activities that provide balance and help clear the mind, ultimately improving their effectiveness as driving instructors.


You can find more from Sophie Thomson here


Phil Cowley and Diana Todd LIVE:


Diana and Phil delivered an engaging presentation on the topic of judgment and its significance in driver training. They emphasized the importance of teaching judgment as one of the high five skills for driving, alongside car control, awareness, planning, and anticipation. They encouraged instructors to help learners develop this skill by using specific questions and techniques.


Diana began the presentation by highlighting the critical nature of judgment when making driving decisions, such as when approaching roundabouts. They discussed how changing the phrasing of questions from simple to more thought-provoking ones could impact the learner's understanding and decision-making abilities. They also stressed the value of delving deeper into judgment, especially during the Part 3 Standards Check, where instructors can extract valuable insights from learners' decision-making processes.


Phil joined the discussion, noting that judgment is a challenging skill to teach, given the numerous factors involved in decision-making. He advocated for having ongoing conversations with learners about how they make decisions while driving. By analyzing their judgment, learners can apply their decision-making skills in similar situations when driving independently.


Diana and Phil shared a series of practical questions instructors can use to encourage learners to think critically about judgment. These questions ranged from identifying factors that influence their decisions to assessing their thought processes when facing specific driving scenarios.


The presentation also covered different aspects of judgment, including factors that come into play when approaching roundabouts and making decisions about overtaking cyclists. Diana introduced a game called the "Yes and No Game," which helps learners make quick decisions in a safe environment, enabling them to analyze their own thought processes when taking action.


Phil discussed strategies for helping learners judge gaps in traffic, decide when to overtake cyclists, and navigate merging onto dual carriageways. He emphasized the need to give learners time to think, build their decision-making skills, and reinforce their confidence in making the right judgment calls.


The presenters concluded by encouraging instructors to implement these techniques gradually and not to overwhelm learners with too many questions at once. They urged instructors to evaluate the effectiveness of these questions and adapt them to their specific teaching style and their learners' needs.


Overall, Diana and Phil's presentation provided valuable insights into teaching judgment as a crucial driving skill, offering practical advice and questions that instructors can incorporate into their lessons to enhance learners' decision-making abilities.


You can find more from Phil Cowley here and Diana Todd here

If you enjoyed this edition of The Instructor Podcast, check out The Green Room LIVE at the EXPO.

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