Each of us can probably remember an instructor who really taught us a lot. That experience will be cherished. It was both fun and satisfying. The feeling of personal accomplishment was very motivating. Gaining “seat-time teaching” is one way to become a better teacher, just as that instructor who inspired us early in our driving careers. With that in mind, we established the NER/PCA Instructor Development Program which includes both training and mentoring.
The goal of the program is to provide prospective instructors with an environment where they can learn to teach. In some endeavors, “on-the-job training” is the best thing; however, in Driver Education (DE), it’s usually better to learn something about it before trying it out on someone else (and his/her car) at the track. We established the mentoring part of the program to achieve these goals:
Verify that instructor candidates have achieved proficiency in advanced driving
Provide a reduced-stress environment to learn the basics of instructing
Explain what is expected of instructors
Show the basics of “the line” we teach (both dry and wet) in DE events
Practice teaching in a controlled setting
Learn various scenarios which can develop on-track and learn how to spot them early and handle them appropriately
Learn about different types of students
Learn how different types of cars behave and how they feel when doing it
Learn about different communications and teaching styles
Learn about yourself
Learn what will be expected on the Instructor Certification Test
Reduce student stress
Reduce instructor stress
Share experiences with other instructor candidates and instructors and
Minimum Skills and Qualifications
NER/PCA is constantly seeking to expand its instructor corps. We look for applicants with the following skills and qualifications:
Good communications and teaching skills, being aware and alert, positive, and empathetic.
Knowledge of and practicing safe operating procedures and NER/PCA rules both on track and in the pits and paddock.
Technical knowledge about high-performance driving and cars, illustrated by passing a verbal test.
Skillful, and competent advanced use of his or her vehicle and its controls. This includes a consistent ability to display sound judgement and demonstrate safe driving skills at all times.
Applicants must have completed at least 36 total days of track driving, including 12 minimum in the Advanced Black group, 4 of which must be with NER run events for our members (1 NER event for out-of-region applicants).
These guidelines apply to anyone who wishes to instruct for the Northeast Region, including those who’ve been instructing for many years with other regions. The program is identical for all people with the exception that the requirement of 4 NER events (about a year) of Advanced driving with NER at our events is reduced to 1 for transfers, out-of-region people, and all other non-NER candidates with equivalent experience. This allows NER’s Track Committee to test non-NER instructor candidates at our events and have them begin instructing for us in short order. The Track Committee may at its discretion impose additional NER event time requirements on a candidate.
This program was originally developed by Bill Hawe, former Chief Instructor of NER/PCA.
It has since been revised several times by subsequent Track Committees, with the latest rewrite by Paul Avery.