18/4/17 – 2 hour lesson.
So I picked up Annie and we headed to the training area round the corner.
When we got there we swapped roles again and she became the instructor (from the passenger seat). I asked her to talk me through pulling over. She did really well but forgot to tell me to signal first and forgot to tell me to put the clutch down, so we stalled.
As we were stalling Annie asked ‘What was that?’
‘That shaking noise’
‘Oh brilliant I’m glad you noticed’
We had a chat about when it was making the noise, and what happened straight after. She soon worked out that it is the car telling you it’s going to stall. We then had a quick chat about what would happen if you’re skiing and you told people you were going to turn before you looked. She immediately made the connection that she told me to signal before I checked mirrors.
She talked me through pulling over again. This time perfect!
I then asked her to talk me through pulling away. She did it perfectly first time – she made me look like a great driver!
I find this a much more inclusive way of re-capping knowledge, & finding out how much has been retained, than sitting in a static car looking over and discussing drawings/videos/apps etc.
We swapped seats and she got herself ready to drive. She had forgotten to move her mirrors. I asked why mirrors are important. She immediately looked up and realised she hadn’t moved them. This was a great chance to bring in a G.D.E discussion. We briefly talked about what might make her forget to move her mirrors after she had passed and the consequences.
Goals were discussed for the lesson, and confirmed these were still important for her.
-to improve pulling over
-Continue with left junctions
-Begin right junctions
-Possibly get onto a main road
Annie wanted to start with pulling over. She wanted me to just sit and watch and just help her if I thought she needed it. She pulled away really well and she chose her own place to pull over. I had to help push her away from the kerb. She looked disappointed, as getting too close to the kerb happened last lesson. I asked her why she thought she would hit the kerb
‘I don’t know’
‘Do you know what you were looking at’
‘The kerb, no the road, no the kerb….erm I don’t know!’
‘Ok lets have another go but this time see if you can identify where you’re looking as you pull over’
She did the same again. But she was having trouble knowing where she was looking.
I said ok and told her I had a little challenge for her, but we needed to get out the car. We got out and I asked her to walk in a straight line following a line on the pavement.
……’that was easy’
‘Yeah I thought you would be able to do that. Why was it easy?’
‘Because I was looking where I was going’
‘Ok now do it again but now look only at the wall’ (to her left)
‘aargh this is difficult (as she wobbled along her straight line)
‘Because I’m not looking where I’m going I want to walk towards the……oh wait! I know what you’re doing. I think I’m looking at the kerb when I’m pulling over!’
‘That’s brilliant awareness. So where should you look?’
‘The space I want to stop?’
‘Ok lets give it a go and find out’……..
……….Annie pulled over a perfect distance from the kerb, and every time since bar once. She looked really pleased with herself. I didn’t have to tell her. I just let her find her own way. Learning, I feel, has a much bigger impact this way.
‘Happy with that now Annie’
‘Wanna try some left turns?’
We moved straight onto left turns. No recap. She picked up from where she left off the previous lesson. Linking what she already knew to what she had to do. We discussed how many she would like to do before we stopped to discuss how it was going, what she wanted me to do, how she will know she is ready to move onto right turns etc.
There was only one junction (a bit blind) that she needed any help with. A couple were too fast. One I let her take too fast, as I could see it was safe to, and the other I had to help with the speed. She soon worked out why and self corrected. We had a chat about why it was always the same junction she needed help with (the blind one).
Now it doesn’t matter how good your Q&A is if someone doesn’t know something they will never know, so I brought up the subject of clutch control. Annie had never heard of it. I explained what it was. We spent about 5 mins practising it before she felt comfortable she could do it at a junction. We also discussed when we would use it and understood that not having that skill affected her ability at the slightly blind junction.
Off we went and repeated the block again and this particular junction was better. She said felt nervous that there were cars waiting for her a couple of times, but she felt more confident at that junction.
We discussed how the cars behind made her feel nervous and the reasons for this. There was a lot of ‘I don’t knows’. I felt my questions weren’t going to get much further so I changed the subject and asked her what she wanted to do know.
‘Can I do some to the right?’
‘Of course, how do you want to learn them?’
‘Can I just have a go?’
‘Yep no problem. What do you want me to do?’
‘Stop me from crashing your car!’
‘I think I can do that. Can I ask you 1 question before we go? What happens if we want to turn right into a road and there is a car coming towards us?’
‘Erm do we wait?’
………and we had a quick chat about how she would identify the car and judge if we had time to turn
Annie’s right turn junctions went as well as her left turns had. Again all we did was link what skills & knowledge she already had to her new situation. She was learning how to transfer her skills.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to get onto a main road. So we made it one of the goals for her next lesson, along with improving her junctions and starting to learn about roundabouts – but only those with 1 lane on approach!. You cant go very far in St Albans without coming to a roundabout! We also discussed what went well & what she enjoyed doing. We scaled how she felt her skills were at the start of the lesson and where they were now, and where they might like to be next lesson……