Working in driver’s education is an interesting experience.

Most people would think this is due to the fact that you are helping beginners learn how to control the massive hunks of metal at high velocities which the average “experienced” person takes for granted. Though that can at times be an interesting experience, it is not really all that different from teaching anything else. Well, provided you have patience and at least a decent ability to teach. It is a very practical skill, so you have an extra need and opportunity to be hands-on, which is really what all teachers strive to do. In my current position, I do not do many driving lessons, which is bittersweet since I do sometimes miss working with the “raw clay” in its most moldable form.

The next biggest realm which most people find unusual is doing driving tests for beginning teen drivers. Though the occasional teen driving test is an adventure, most are pleasantly uneventful. Even those adults who have to have an interlock (breathalizer tied to the ignition) seems to do well (largely because they have gone so long without a license they take it seriously). No, generally the scary ones are adults who have never had a license and have been putting it off, those who have been driving in other countries (including recently deployed soldiers), and adults who have lost their license.

The hardest part I have found is the schedule. we are busiest when most people have downtime. Summers. Breaks. Weekends. This can make it difficult to have a normal life at time. Vacations and family stuff can be difficult to work out at times. It is even worse for those in the field who have children (be there in a few months!), which is probably why most instructors are retired, professional teachers who work part time, or do not have kids.

The other side of this is that during a large portion of the year, we have “down” time. The phones are slow. Our instructors only do 1 or 2 lessons a day. The tests that we were booking out a week in advance have slowed to walk-in, and only around a third of what they should be.

The nice part is that we have manpower available to to so many things that we had to put off from the busy season when we were barely holding things together in some areas. Curriculum revisions. Updating guidelines for various states. Completing training for staff members. Smoothing out company policies. Tightening some nuts and bolts. Cleaning out old files and equipment. Writing new programs. Advertising. Printing books and materials. Basically doing all those things that need to be done so we can make it through the busy time.

It is not so much that we are out of things to do, it is just that it takes more endurance to get it done. We are not hopping from one call to the next or helping 3 customers at a time speeding through the day, but we have to be deliberate in the action we take or we may not be able to do so later.

I feel the same place in life. “New” house that needs repairs to get back to a usable place from the last owners who messed everything up (but got us a really good deal!). Preparing for a baby girl arriving in a couple months. Helping set things up for an eventual small business. Trying to develop leaders through the volunteer organization where I will likely have to step back a bit.  Finding a situation where we can volunteer in ministry till sometime in the likely distant future I can work somewhere full-time. Keeping current on ministry trends. Bible studies. Counseling techniques and resources.

The hard part, as always, is keeping the goals in focus. Working through the boring parts even if it is hard to see the end. But, even if it is not the most exciting or enjoyable, it is still necessary. And important. Preparation allows things to go smoothly. Or at least more smoothly.