Today, I was training my new trainee maneuverability. In particular, we were learning Straight line backing, off set parking, and the dreaded…parallel parking, both blind side parallel parking and drivers side parallel parking. When I told her what we were going to be learning, her reply was an audible sigh. Then again, it may have been her eye roll that I heard. I’d be surprised if she didn’t see her brain with that impressive eye roll! Anyway, I knew instantly that I had a doubting Thomas on board and she quickly confirmed my theory when she told me that after she received her drivers license, she never attempted to parallel park again and she had been dreading the possibility of having to do it again…this time, on a school bus, nonetheless! This was a feeling that I could easily relate to, for I too was a parallel parking avoider. When I told her that not only would she learn how to parallel park a school bus, but also promised her it would be easier than parallel parking her car, and that she would be parallel parking like a pro before the morning was over, she was skeptical, to say the least. You can imagine the response I received in reply…yep..another audible eye roll. Well, that, and her daughter told her that she would never be able to parallel park a school bus, because she couldn’t even parallel park her own vehicle.
I break the process down, step by step. I begin, by showing students each individual pivot point, which mirrors to view them in and where each pivot point for that maneuver is located. Most drivers tend to be skeptical of the forsaid formula, until they practice it without me being on the bus. Once I teach them the “formula” I observe and instruct from outside. I love, love, LOVE, to teach my students the formula…aka pivot points and then watch as they successfully parallel park a school bus…the first time! What a thrill! I love to watch as the look of surprise is replaced by pride and joy. When she realized that she had parallell parked a school bus, by herself, the first time, I was rewarded with a warm hug and big high fives that were accompanied by the look of pure satisfaction and success!
My student could not wait to go home and tell her daughter that she could parallel park a school bus!