I've been giving a young man the opportunity to learn how to drive a stick shift with my five-speed Honda Civic. He is a quick learner and really just needs practice time to get the shifting to be smoother. He gets so frustrated and embarrassed when he stalls or jolts the car, even though it does not bother me at all. I tell him not to worry, cars behind him will wait, and he's not doing anything that others have not done before him. Always when someone first tries to drive a stick they want a precise answer about when to shift; I always say "listen to the engine." The last time he drove he said to me "it sounds like it wants to shift" which means he is not relying on the tachometer for direction.  Now I am pointing out "anticipate what is coming up" in terms of a hill, turn or stop sign with regard to his speed and shifting transitions.  Because he can only drive my car occasionally he is not getting consistent practice to make him feel confident.

Pitch, Power, Trim Patience.
Since I have started flying, everytime I let this young man drive my car I can hear my flight instructor in the back of my head saying: "listen to the engine", and I can feel my flight instructor's patience with me as I struggle to make my transitions smooth. I keep telling him that he is exceptionally patient to deal with students bouncing the plane around. When transitioning the plane in altitude or direction, he has given me these four words to remember: pitch, power, trim, patience. This sequence can be used in other teaching situations as well: pitch the concept, power the lesson, tweak the details, give the student time to absorb.

Patience is the mark of a good teacher. A teacher can not expect that every student will reach the same endpoint at the same time and following the same path. Give the student the time he or she needs, provide patience, guidance, and understanding, and the student will succeed. I have a very good flight instructor.

1 comment:

Gene Gordon said...

Totally agree with you. Patience is a key teacher virtue. Without it you can not teach every student.