How Training Bus Instructors Can Improve Time Management During Skill Development

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Louie Maiello - Also by this author

As instructors, you are setting an example to your students. What kind of a message are you sending if you cannot get through your day smoothly and effectively?
As instructors, you are setting an example to your students. What kind of a message are you sending if you cannot get through your day smoothly and effectively?
As a training bus instructor, have you ever found yourself nearing the end of your training day and realized you may not have ample time left to cover all basic skill development tasks scheduled for that day? This happens quite often. Hoping to cover what was not administered during any particular basic skill development day on the following day due to poor time management can cause a domino effect by not allowing sufficient time for skills that are normally scheduled to be taught on catch-up day.

Rushing through the tasks and not providing the time needed to fully absorb what is being taught will surely frustrate the new candidate trainee.

How can you improve your time management?

  •     Ensure every instructor is teaching the same basic skills daily throughout the training session. This is important should you need to replace an instructor on any given day. This will ensure that the only thing changing when a new instructor steps in during the basic skill development portion is the instructor and not the curriculum for that particular day.
  •     Student-to-instructor ratio is the key element in determining how much behind-the-wheel time each trainee should receive. Too much training can be just as detrimental to the success of the trainee as too little training. Smaller agencies may be forced to only entertain one or two new candidates. This is tough, as too many skills may be thrown at them due to the daily excessive behind-the-wheel time available to them. Working with Human Resources to provide at least three candidates for training bus skill development, and no more than four when planning a new class of candidates, is also cost effective.
  •     Basic skills are usually covered the first four days if your program is strictly driving skills first, allowed by ‘show me’ days, which require the student to ‘show you’ they can move forward to route-familiarization training. Classroom activities should begin after the washout of those who did not successfully qualify with the driving portion, according to the standards of the training department. This is the most effective way to create world class operators. To put it simply, many new bus operator candidate training programs are excessively long. Way too long.
  •     To keep your time management in check, ensure you have a well-planned out digestible list of basic skills that will be taught on each day. Begin with calculating the time it takes to travel to your training area, the time to cover all skills scheduled for that day, and also include meal time and break times. Finally, include the one-on-one time spent with each of your students near the end of the day for performance review documentation of their behind-the-wheel time and the drive time back to the depot. This should reflect their daily eight-hour spread.

As instructors, you are setting an example to your students. What kind of a message are you sending if you cannot get through your day smoothly and effectively, covering all tasks, all within your students start and finish time of their eight-hour tour of duty? Don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk.

Time management is rarely taught to a new instructor during the break-in period with the seasoned instructor. Don’t overlook it.

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