David Smithson - Weelz Driving School

How long have you been a driving instructor for?

I have been instructing for just over 11 years now. I started out working with BSM when I first qualified, but I joined Dale Brooks back in 2011, and I’ve never looked back. There were only 2 of us in the Weelz team back then!

What were you doing before that?

I worked in the catering industry before I was a driving instructor. Initially, I worked as a kitchen porter (washing up!), and worked my way up to a chef de partie, gaining an NVQ 2 and 3 in food preparation and cooking. I started out in Blackpool, before moving down to Cornwall for 3 and a half years in my early 20s, before moving back to Blackpool again, and starting my driving instructor training.

What do you enjoy most about driving instructing?

That’s a really easy question to answer. Quite simply it is the job satisfaction. Like in any job there are good and bad days, but the feeling that you get when a pupil passes their driving test is quite unique. It is all the more rewarding if you have helped a pupil that has really struggled to pick things up, to see their self belief grow, and then achieve their goals is amazing.

Is there anything you dislike about the job?

There isn’t really much that I dislike about the job itself. One thing that can really get to you, though, is the attitude of other drivers towards learners. Some people are so impatient, and it can really damage the confidence of a nervous learner. Over taking dangerously, revving the engine, or beeping their horns can never help a situation. So many people seem to forget that we’ve all been where they are, and gone through that journey of learning to drive.

What are your interests/hobbies outside of driving instructing?

When I get time away from instructing, I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife is Spanish, and we have two children, aged 5 and 8. We love going on days out, or spending time on the beach when the weather is nice. My wife and children tend to get across to Spain 2 or 3 times a year, and I always get over to see the in-laws around New Year time.