Since my last update post, I have been working with my parents much more often to get in practice time and to get comfortable with being behind the wheel more frequently. I also worked more with my mentor, revisiting parallel parking and focusing on reverse stall parking, stops, turns, and lane changes. I have found that the more I go out and drive, even short distances, the easier it is for me to identify what I struggle with and what I need to improve on. At the moment, that thing is turns. Much of the time, I find myself slowing down too much in intersections and then going a bit wide as I complete the turn. The best solution that I have found for this challenge is simply repetition. I have to put in the time to practice in order to become the safe, reliable driver that I strive to be.
- What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
My mentor is able to bring me out of my comfort zone and into a space of vulnerability when I am driving by having me drive in places I am not familiar with, and in spaces that provide driving challenges that I have not yet encountered. This allows me to practice decision making in order to maneuver myself safely and with as little direct instruction as possible. He encourages me to use my own judgement when I am feeling comfortable, and through this I am able to build my confidence behind the wheel.
- What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
The new things that I am learning are best set in place by repetition and practice. Wayne has encouraged me to get out as often as possible to practice the skills he has taught me, though I have been waiting for our meetings to try out new things. When running errands, going to workouts or lessons, and any other small trips that my family does, my parents offer me the opportunity to drive to and from home to practice. This is generally a route that I am familiar with, but it’s really good practice for me to solidify my learning.
- What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
My next meeting with my mentor is going to be a major acceleration for me, in terms of learning as well as literally! My mentor has told me that I am doing very well for how long I have been practicing for, so he suggests that we move onto the highway on our next meeting. As well as this, he suggests that I adapt my final goal to be more challenging as he believes that if I put in the time, I will be able to accomplish more than what I set out to do. He suggested an extended route to my original SFU plan, which I will sketch out with him and post about next time. With these challenges in mind, I will need even more practice time with more challenging and unfamiliar roads.
- When you get together what do you talk about?
When I meet with my mentor, most of our conversation revolves around my progress and the steps I need to take towards improvement. Along with this comes direct instruction about new skills, as well as fairly consistent updates regarding my goals and what I want to get out of my practice. I will sometimes ask questions about experiences he has had with other students, such as close calls and my progress in comparison to the pace he is generally accustomed to seeing.
- What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
I find that my communication with my mentor is really the driving (haha) force of my progress. If I wasn’t able to express freely to him my concerns and curiosities, my improvements would be limited. It is also important to me that he is able to communicate with me regarding the places where I need improvement. There are no conflicts regarding constructive criticism, which I have found very productive as I have to know what I need to work on before I can begin that work! My motivation to become the best driver I can be and his passion for his work combine to create very productive lessons.