Motivating Students

spoolinup22

Well-Known Member
For those of you that work at a pilot mill (Pt 61 replies are cool too!), what do you do to help keep your students motivated?

Had a situation where one of my students is not wanting to wake up early to make the 8am flights...and starting to not work as hard in the flights/ grounds.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
Could be they are losing the "vision", find out why they want to be a pilot and make sure they understand how what they are doing right now relates to their dream. See if you can build in examples of how the things you are working on right now relate to that dream.

Could be they are bored. If so, make things more challenging. Ask a lot of knowledge questions and bring in more realistic distractions while they are maneuvering. Require precision, airspeeds +2/-0, altitude +/- 40, touchdown +200/-0, centerlines at all times.... get on their case if they are flying below their abilities.

Could be they are sick of flying circles in a pattern and need to see some fun and utility, take them out on a cross country for breakfast on that 8AM flight.

Could be they are just a lazy arse and nothing you do will help, if so, tell them if they are late again you are dropping them as a student because your schedule is important and you have other customers who need you to be on time, so you cannot have him/her throwing off your schedule by being late or cancelling regularly.

Just ideas.
 

jskibo

Done
I got that way in the time building portion (FLT202?) at SIU a couple decades ago.

Was tired of doing Lazy 8's and Chandelles, however the bigger issue for me on the early flights was that I had 23 hours of course load that semester, trying to finish up an extension of an additional 6 hours in Independent Study and I worked until Midnight at the VA Hospital 5 nights a week. They got on me for not wanting to fly Saturdays at 7am as well.

Point is, see if there's any other distractions in your students life you're not aware of.....
 

thevideographer

Well-Known Member
Why is it I always have to motivate my instructors?

Anyway the best advice from a student perspective is to do something different for a few days.

jskibo, if the instructor is doing his or her job a good student will always blow off school or work for flying ;)
 

jskibo

Done
jskibo, if the instructor is doing his or her job a good student will always blow off school or work for flying ;)
Well, I'm older, grayer, and better compensated for my time away form work now than I was 17 years ago.....So no problem blowing off the other commitments. In fact doing just that for Instrument / Seaplane / Multi over the next two months.

Back then I was trying to plug a 4 year degree into a two year schedule and maintain sanity. Sadly I failed, it took 2.5 years :)
 

spoolinup22

Well-Known Member
I got that way in the time building portion (FLT202?) at SIU a couple decades ago.

Was tired of doing Lazy 8's and Chandelles, however the bigger issue for me on the early flights was that I had 23 hours of course load that semester, trying to finish up an extension of an additional 6 hours in Independent Study and I worked until Midnight at the VA Hospital 5 nights a week. They got on me for not wanting to fly Saturdays at 7am as well.

Point is, see if there's any other distractions in your students life you're not aware of.....
Ohhh the good ol 201's at SIU....half of them are soo stoked to fly so that they can wear epaulets and fly shiny jets, a quarter of them want to go to the military, and the other quarter just want to drive planes....makes my job interesting!
 

spoolinup22

Well-Known Member
Well, I'm older, grayer, and better compensated for my time away form work now than I was 17 years ago.....So no problem blowing off the other commitments. In fact doing just that for Instrument / Seaplane / Multi over the next two months.

Back then I was trying to plug a 4 year degree into a two year schedule and maintain sanity. Sadly I failed, it took 2.5 years :)
well looks like you only did half a victory lap then eh? ;)
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
Why would you feel compelled to motivate students at a 'pilot mill'?

Your job is to teach them to fly, not be their life coach.

Its their money and their time. If they choose to blow it, then IMHO that's up to them.
 

spoolinup22

Well-Known Member
I agree that it is their time and money, however no teacher wants to see any of them fail. Some will put it alot of effort, some will be mediocre, some will be feel like the death of you, but regardless I don't want to see any of them give up. Maybe I'm too much of a softy?
 

Screaming_Emu

Dogsheep
Try building something unique into the lessons. Build in a cross country to somewhere interesting and stop and grab some lunch.

Pilot mills have a unique ability of taking the fun out of flying. See if you can combine a couple lessons and take them into a busy airport somewhere. The grind of taking off, doing maneuvers, and hurrying back to hand the plane off to someone can sometimes cause students to lose focus.

Why would you feel compelled to motivate students at a 'pilot mill'?

Your job is to teach them to fly, not be their life coach.

Its their money and their time. If they choose to blow it, then IMHO that's up to them.
I very much don't agree. A lot of people don't understand the investment required to become a pilot, both in time and money. Just because a student isn't motivated, doesn't mean you should stop trying. Maybe they're losing focus, maybe its because of the way the instructor or school are handling flights? I think you should very much be helping to motivate your instructor. Your job is to facilitate learning, and people learn better when they are motivated.
 

jskibo

Done
Ohhh the good ol 201's at SIU....half of them are soo stoked to fly so that they can wear epaulets and fly shiny jets, a quarter of them want to go to the military, and the other quarter just want to drive planes....makes my job interesting!
I remember 1994 like it was yesterday, only I had hair and a smaller bank account!
 

jskibo

Done
haha well anytime you want to come back to the dirty dale i got the first round!

I used to do the SIU Aviation Career Fairs (representing Boeing) for years when I worked there. May take you up on that as I plan on buring off some twin comanche time later this year!
 

spoolinup22

Well-Known Member
Oh definitely you have to stop by then. You won't believe how much different the airport has changed now that we have the TEC. It's a zoo!!
 

nocturnalaviator

Family Man
Why would you feel compelled to motivate students at a 'pilot mill'?

Your job is to teach them to fly, not be their life coach.

Its their money and their time. If they choose to blow it, then IMHO that's up to them.
Some pilot mill cfis are different than 141 or mom pop 61 cfi what the hell does that mean? I worked for pilot mill 3yrs I took my job seriously and my positive attitude gave motivation to my students. I did what Screamin said. Go for a lunch flight (schedule conscious of course). No matter where you work your attitude and desire to be the best shouldn't change based on who you work for. Work ethic is work ethic. And this mentality is why we have hardly any mentors in the industry

Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
And this mentality is why we have hardly any mentors in the industry
Well, hopefully someday I can learn to be a 'real' instructor and learn how to be a mentor.
:rolleyes:

I admit that I've never been a civilian pilot mill CFI, but my comment had nothing to do with differentiating between avenues of learning/instructing (141 vs 61, or even ab initio or military). It had everything to do with what our role is as flying instructors, and what our roles are not.

People who want to learn to fly need to have a significant level of self-motivation. I did not go snatch them up off their couch and force them to learn to fly -- it is they who decided they wanted to do it, and it is their time and money that is paying for the training. My role is to be the most skilled, knowledgeable, and professional aviator and instructor that I can be, and to use every tool that I can to teach them.

Mentorship is, indeed, an important aspect of teaching and raising young pilots. This issue that the OP mentions is IMHO outside the realm of even a mentor. If students don't have enough personal motivation to wake up for an early scheduled flight, then that is an issue with personal responsibility and just being an adult, and does NOT have anything to do with aviation.

In the military, I'm not only an instructor pilot but I am also a senior officer. In the military, we 'own' our junior officer students, and have law that states they have to be certain places at certain times, meet certain standards of appearance, behavior, etiquette, etc. In this circumstance, it definitely IS my job to deal with issues like this outside of the cockpit and outside of the aviation learning environment. If it were 2Lts in my training program that were unable to show up for early flights, or even be 'motivated' to fly those flights, then there are multiple levels of issues I would be happy to help them deal with, both legal and otherwise. The vast majority of military student pilots, however, are self-motivated, and gladly jump through whatever hoops they need to in order to learn for fly for the military. Those that don't are shown the door, possibly even to the military all together.

A civilian flight training student is just that -- a flight training student. I don't "owe" them anything beyond the door on the way out to their car after the lesson.

That being said, I'm extremely willing (and usually pretty excited) to go well beyond the hangar doors to assist and mentor if a student asks. I will give as much instruction, mentorship, assistance that I can (always off the clock) to someone who wants to learn -- but the motivation has to be their own. I have spent countless hours 'off the clock' with students who were interested in learning about all sorts of things, even outside the realm of flying (personal finance, education...all kinds of topics), but I won't light a fire under your butt to do it. That student has to want it on their own.

Learning is a 2-way street. This is not a public school where they are required to be by law, nor am I their servant -- they have to bring motivation and enthusiasm to learn to the table (and maturity and responsibility), and I'll bring wisdom, experience, and enthusiasm to teach them.

So, sorry -- I just don't buy it. If a student doesn't want to learn to fly enough to wake their sleepy asses up and be bright eyed for a flying lesson at 8 am, then they're just not mature enough for me as an instructor to be motivated to help them.
 

nocturnalaviator

Family Man
Well, hopefully someday I can learn to be a 'real' instructor and learn how to be a mentor.
:rolleyes:

I admit that I've never been a civilian pilot mill CFI, but my comment had nothing to do with differentiating between avenues of learning/instructing (141 vs 61, or even ab initio or military). It had everything to do with what our role is as flying instructors, and what our roles are not.

People who want to learn to fly need to have a significant level of self-motivation. I did not go snatch them up off their couch and force them to learn to fly -- it is they who decided they wanted to do it, and it is their time and money that is paying for the training. My role is to be the most skilled, knowledgeable, and professional aviator and instructor that I can be, and to use every tool that I can to teach them.

Mentorship is, indeed, an important aspect of teaching and raising young pilots. This issue that the OP mentions is IMHO outside the realm of even a mentor. If students don't have enough personal motivation to wake up for an early scheduled flight, then that is an issue with personal responsibility and just being an adult, and does NOT have anything to do with aviation.

In the military, I'm not only an instructor pilot but I am also a senior officer. In the military, we 'own' our junior officer students, and have law that states they have to be certain places at certain times, meet certain standards of appearance, behavior, etiquette, etc. In this circumstance, it definitely IS my job to deal with issues like this outside of the cockpit and outside of the aviation learning environment. If it were 2Lts in my training program that were unable to show up for early flights, or even be 'motivated' to fly those flights, then there are multiple levels of issues I would be happy to help them deal with, both legal and otherwise. The vast majority of military student pilots, however, are self-motivated, and gladly jump through whatever hoops they need to in order to learn for fly for the military. Those that don't are shown the door, possibly even to the military all together.

A civilian flight training student is just that -- a flight training student. I don't "owe" them anything beyond the door on the way out to their car after the lesson.

That being said, I'm extremely willing (and usually pretty excited) to go well beyond the hangar doors to assist and mentor if a student asks. I will give as much instruction, mentorship, assistance that I can (always off the clock) to someone who wants to learn -- but the motivation has to be their own. I have spent countless hours 'off the clock' with students who were interested in learning about all sorts of things, even outside the realm of flying (personal finance, education...all kinds of topics), but I won't light a fire under your butt to do it. That student has to want it on their own.

Learning is a 2-way street. This is not a public school where they are required to be by law, nor am I their servant -- they have to bring motivation and enthusiasm to learn to the table (and maturity and responsibility), and I'll bring wisdom, experience, and enthusiasm to teach them.

So, sorry -- I just don't buy it. If a student doesn't want to learn to fly enough to wake their sleepy asses up and be bright eyed for a flying lesson at 8 am, then they're just not mature enough for me as an instructor to be motivated to help them.

Okay understood and I completely agree with that. I too have dealt with the the continuously tardy student, etc.. not much one can do in that circumstance. I have countless times enjoyed staying overtime to help a student after hours with a subject that needed polishing. It is very rewarding both to the student and CFI when a student is willing to learn and excited with their progress. I agree Hacker, that the CFI is NOT there to babysit. At that point we are grown ass men/women responsible for our own futures and actions. If you don't want it, aren't willing to put forth the effort themselves, well here's your money back for what we didn't cover, suggest you try something else.
 

nocturnalaviator

Family Man
To the OP, a few suggestions: Scenario, scenario, scenario based training!!! And try to mix it in with a lunch/ tourist flight. Go somewhere interesting! Flying is supposed to be enjoyable and fun! Make it that way. (Just warn them, once you make it a job, it's a job)
 

tlewis95

I drive planes
+1 on the 'keep it fun' train. It is super hard to do here with all of the rules that sometimes seem designed to take all of the fun and challenge out of flying. Also harder to do with 201As... Keep an eye out for fly-in breakfast events you (we?) can go to with double-slotted 201s on the weekend or something. One 'drives' there, the other on the leg back. Ask your old room-mate/my former student what his favorite flight he did with me was sometime.

Also, if I am still trying as hard as I can to keep it fun and challenging and they still aren't getting it or WANTING to be there, you have to ask them why they are there if it isn't fun and if they are doing this for the right reason. Ex : Mom sending you to pilot school because she didn't want you to become a truck driver like you really wanted. gingflyer
 
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