As young children, we aspire to build fulfilling careers that will help make a difference in world and even in the lives of others. And while many go on to become doctors, teacher, engineers and fire fighters, others have chosen an alternate route. A route that not only fulfills them by enabling them to teach and help people build a specific skill, but one that can also be exciting and a little dangerous all in one. In case you are still scratching your head, the career we’re describing is none other than that of a driving instructor.
Young Drivers of Canada has had the pleasure of working with a very large number of extraordinary instructors over the last 49 years, but for one instructor, 2019 has brought forth a major career milestone. That instructor is Ontario’s Ian McKay and in April 2019, Ian taught the 75,000th lesson of his career. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ian about his career with YD. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you start with YD?
I started with YD in March of 1987. One month later on April 25th of ‘87 I married Annette. We have one child named Zack who is 29 and since 2011 he and my daughter-in-law Lindsey have lived in Kentucky. We also have 2 granddaughters-Coraline will be 3 in July & Hazel is 1. Most of my downtime is spent watching sports.
How does it feel to know that you’ve taught 75,000 lessons over the course of your career?
The thing I’m proud of with regards to the 75,000 lessons is that it is an average of over 2300 lessons/year over the 32 years with YD. Most instructors don’t do that many lessons in a single year ever, yet I am doing that year in and year out.
What is the secret to a successful training experience?
As far as what makes a good training experience, it may sound corny but I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated-show up on time, be respectful and the student deserves an honest effort from me every time we do a lesson-whether I’m having a bad day or not-that’s what being a professional is all about.
Tell us about your most rewarding training experience or one that you’re really proud of…
Over the years the students I am most proud of teaching are the older women who may be recently widowed or who have a husband who is very ill and need to learn how to drive to keep their independence. I have also taught a few students who are deaf, and it’s very challenging but definitely fulfilling to get a positive result as you have to adjust your teaching technique/style to adapt when we take our hearing for granted.
We’ve also learned that you have achieved 2500 successful road tests. As an instructor, how does that make you feel?
The 2500 number is also big in that it means I’m doing something right in training our students to reach ministry standards, but it also is not possible if our various sales staff over the years have not worked hard to sell the package in the first place!
Do you have any advice or tips for current/prospective instructors?
To all new instructors: You have to be self-motivated, because you’re not in an office setting with a 9-5 structure. You need to be organized and you have to love what you’re doing. You are working for the best driving school around and you have to carry yourself accordingly. Also although you try to connect with all your students-you can’t please everybody, sometimes styles/personalities don’t mesh even though you try your best.
Thank you, Ian, for sharing your experience with us. We wish you all the best and continued success in your career for many more years to come!