being an instructor...

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being an instructor...

Postby Gary Burch on Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm

yesterday was one of the worst instructing days i have ever had.
my student was terrific, first time at any driving event, got him reined in, focused, and on the road to smooth, good student
the problem was the schedule

back to back driving session
one session off
double corner working session
one session off
back to back driving session
2 sessions off
back to back timed runs

makes me not want to instruct anymore
gary burch

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Re: being an instructor...

Postby mrondeau on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:00 pm

Sounds like a scheduling/run group mistake. If I remember correctly, there are two run group schedules that work well. If it's done correctly with the instructor/student pairings, then it's a lot easier on the instructors as well as the students. We should try to make it easier for the instructors.
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby rwalker on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:22 pm

All of my days instructing have the structure that Gary described. For me, the most stressful portion is the back-to-back driving sessions, since it's impossible to pre-grid for the 2nd session when you're both in the car for the first. Sometimes my student bails out of the car before my last lap to grid up for his practice session; sometimes the I forfeit my last practice lap of the session; sometimes we're just late to the 2nd session.

Back-to-back work sessions is taxing, but I've gotten used to it.
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby LUCKY DAVE on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:59 pm

I had back to back sessions too.
And a student that made it worthwhile :D
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby Gary Burch on Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:06 pm

LUCKY DAVE wrote:I had back to back sessions too.
And a student that made it worthwhile :D


you paid the students to do your corner working shift
that would have made it better, i admit
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby LUCKY DAVE on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:11 pm

you paid the students to do your corner working shift

Yes I did. But I was referring to my AX student listening closely and learning quickly that made my day worthwhile.
My timed laps sure didn't :banghead:
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby Robert Joe on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:41 pm

I will take the last lap on my own and ask my student to get his car in pre-grid but tell them to wait until they are one of the last cars in line. Then if I hustle, I can make it to their car.

When instructors are in pre-grid, It would be better to have one lane for instructors with a student then another lane for instructors with no student. Send the instructor with a student out first. That buys more time for getting to the next run group for the student.
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby LUCKY DAVE on Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:16 pm

Excepting timed laps, it doesn't really matter if the run groups overlap a small amount. Yes, it makes it a bit harder for the starter and pre-grid worker to keep things organized, but they deal with it as needed and ultimately the computer knows who ran what laps, and how many. If you get to pre-grid a couple minutes late in the last group before timed laps you might end up running two laps in succession. It's not a tragedy.
In my (and others) case I have to let my car idle for about five minutes after running in anger to let the turbo cool before shut down. I just plan ahead with my students, it usually works out well enough.
Being late to corner working is a problem though, and it's not ok.
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby sf.in.sd on Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:53 pm

Last two AX took teamwork to even be able to eat. Randy was running around last month and me this, and having the Instructor-less co-driver waiting at the food truck and getting a meal for when the student-laden one could woof it down made all the difference. I have had a couple AXs where my first break came at 2 pm as the truck was pulling away (oblivious to my screams). :cry:

A little attention to the schedule would help.

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Re: being an instructor...

Postby GT3 on Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:46 am

Find $500 bucks somewhere and hire full time corner works so no one has to anymore, charge $10 more per entry if you have to, that should cover it, people are paying $30 now.
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby ttweed on Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:09 pm

Gary Burch wrote: ...back to back driving session
one session off
double corner working session
one session off
back to back driving session
2 sessions off
back to back timed runs

makes me not want to instruct anymore


sf.in.sd wrote:Last two AX took teamwork to even be able to eat... I have had a couple AXs where my first break came at 2 pm...


I have to say this is exactly why I quit instructing 3 years ago. Getting too old for that crap... :banghead:

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Re: being an instructor...

Postby ttweed on Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:13 pm

GT3 wrote:Find $500 bucks somewhere and hire full time corner works so no one has to anymore, charge $10 more per entry if you have to, that should cover it, people are paying $30 now.


Where is the "Like" button?  :bowdown:
I'm down with that idea.

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Re: being an instructor...

Postby cag4 on Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:47 pm

I wan't at the last event, but I know we've occassionally had UCSD Triton students there to corner work... I would pay extra for that.

If you add something like working Logistics (keeping the drinks full and cold, trash, etc) to driving and instructing, it gets really old fast.

Then again, beats the hell out of golf ;-)
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Paid autocross cornerworkers

Postby KeithV on Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:43 am

GT3 wrote:Find $500 bucks somewhere and hire full time corner works so no one has to anymore, charge $10 more per entry if you have to, that should cover it, people are paying $30 now.


I COMPLETELY disagree with Alain Stad and Tom Tweed on paid cornerworkers for the following reasons...

In my opinion (and per the SDR instructor written test by-the-way) cornerworking is a) a great way to watch and learn the right way through a portion of the track versus the wrong (or less efficient) way,
b) a good way to contribute back to the club/event and c) a necessary part of each event for it to run.

Every two or three years this issue comes up and some yahoo says something like “I don’t want to cornerwork anymore - it’s boring and any idiot can wave a flag” (and YES I do realize that is NOT what Alain and Tom said here)!!

My counter to that is you can learn more by one good corner working session watching good versus bad lines than you can from driving a track badly all day.

Personally, I don’t think that the paid student cornerworkers are a good option because they often show up after the drivers meeting and miss the cornerworking safety meeting, and as a consequence are often not trained in how we (SDR) do it.

As a result I have personally experienced several occasions where an untrained or uninterested corner worker has failed to behave in a way that keeps them or the drivers as safe as they could be. To this end I have reported it to the autocross chairs and have been pro-active in giving paid student cornerworkers specific safety training and said if more of your buddy students show up during the day they do not go out on track without specific cornerworking training - send them to me.

To me the problem with paid cornerworkers is they are not autocrossers and also have no skin in the game.

I feel if you are too big to knuckle-down and do a stint of cornerworking , you are missing the intent of what our club is about ( once agin I understand that is NOT what Tom and Alain are advocating here) - we’re all volunteers remember?

Maybe someone else has expressed this thought more eloquently somewhere else on this forum, but you have my immediate reaction to the two posts I read.

I know I am not alone in my opinion from over 20 years in this club. If that makes me an old geezer so be it, think about students not cornerworking with their instructors .... woulbn’t they be missing out in a part of the whole learning experience?

I feel if you really don’t want to cornerwork...... go to the track - this is autocross.

OK rant over. Bring it on.... KV.
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Re: being an instructor...

Postby sf.in.sd on Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:58 am

I agree with Keith. Sigh. [where is the face palm emoticon?]

I actually enjoy corner working. I am sure that my times are worse when I don't work until the last session of the day (after completing all practice and timed runs), than they would have been had I been out on the course.

I just don't like going from car to car to cornerworking to cornerworking to car to car and then have it be well into the afternoon before I get a break to eat. I like eating.

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