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Student Enthusiasm/Interaction


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Just wanted some input from around the "room"

Here at the school I run, we have a real big problem with the students not being very enthusiastic about the career choice they have made, and there will always be some pissing and moaning, whenever there are tasks awarded. Now mind you, this is not entirely a Helicopter school, and with only one instructor and one helicopter, it is hard to keep the students "up to it" without them falling into the rut of the others.

Now my biggest concern is that some of my guys won''t pass their written the first time (and these are all conversion students) because they simply don''t study. I can have briefings and groundschool all day with all of them, but they just won''t study!

What do I do?


What am I gonna do when a prospective employer calls, on accord of my students putting me as a reference?...

I can''t call my students lazy, cause then they''ll never get  a job!

I have had some good ones in the past, and they have all been hired (by the same company), but when some of these newer guys are done, I''ll have to be reluctant to recommend them, and that makes me sad. I know I could probably do more in groundschool, but what can you do? you can''t make the school anymuch longer than it already is.

Oh well,

Give us some replies if anybody have any solutions...
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Hey Winnie,


Well here's my thoughts.


If they are not happy with their choice of careers they can get the **** out......I did.  As you know attitude is everything and the ones you should give a good recommendation to are the ones with the right attitude.  It's your name that you're putting on these students and ultimately will reflect on you and your reputation.


In terms of the classroom, make it as much fun and practical as possible while being a realist and straight up.  If they dont study or show interest and you have concerns about them passing their written, raise the bar.  Dont give them your recommend until they are good and ready.  Once they meet your standards and you're assured that they will pass with a good %, then send them to DOT.


Remember a student is the reflection of his instructor.




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Good points Roscoe

However, let me clear the muddy waters a little...


When I was in the states, doing training and instruction, the motivation for the students was extremely different. They were all geared for all of it, even long hours of studying. Most of the students had some experience beforehand as well (on theorethical subjects). While here, it seems like 99% of the students just decided the day they finished High School they say "I want to be a pilot!" and that's it.

Seems strange to me, but then again, maybe it was the pace at the other school I worked at.


And to raise the bar,

Does anyone on here happen to have a few good tests for the different subjects, I'd appreciate some of those, as most books don't have good practice tests.

Thanks for any support!
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Hi Winnie,


How can these students not be motivated to learn when they are spending that kind of money on training...!!!7.gif

Is it possible your students have realized the job situation (or lack of)they will be facing when they get their license and have become dissappointed with their career choice...???


If you give me a huge discount on training rates i will be the most enthusiastic student you have ever seen...9.gif9.gif


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I guess anyone with a rich daddy can technically be a helicopter pilot. There are alot of people out there that hold a commercial helicopter licence, precious few actually work in the industry...


Only the motivated, creative and fortunate will actually get work as a commercial pilot. I don't know how you can impress this upon your students, but there is alot of money on the line, so you would think they would do their homework.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Winnie motivating the students is the $64,000 question. I tried to give little 5 question quizzes when I taught groundschool (until the students revolted to the acting CFI and squashed that idea) in order to get the students to study.


You could take them aside one by one, and ask them if they really do want to be a heli pilot. Then let them know that if they don't start to improve they can forget about getting any recommendations from you. Let them know that once they do get out into the "real" world, they will be doing all the studying themselves.


Almost all of the training I received after flightschool was "self-study". They will be expected to learn on their own. There is also the fact that when they are on a job, out in the absolute middle of nowhere, they are the experts. They have to know if what they will be doing will be safe, legal, that the a/c will be within limits, that they will have enough fuel, the weather will be suitable, etc. They also will be the ones who clean the a/c, cover/uncover it, shovel all the snow around it and off of it, brief the client, set up the loads, all the things they have help with at school.




p.s. I had some exercises that I used to give to the students to get them to think like they were actually on the job. p.m. me and I'll let you know what some of them are.

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Well, first they are your students. As an Instructor you can really do only so much. Not studying is something you can't control. The thing you can control is whether or not you will fly with a student unless he dose his book work. Lots of people like the flying part, they don't like having to do the book work that is kind of dry to get the writtens passed. The writtens for a pilot certificate is not that tough. Here in the States there are all kinds of books and computer programs that make it a rather simple thing plus the FAA publishes the test questions.


As for saying anything about what kind of an employee your students will make. Gee's here is where you really need to be carefull. You taught them, so they have to be pretty good, if not then its reflects on you, its not the students that can get sandbagged on a job, but you. This industry is very small. Its best not to say anything that is not positive. If you can't then not saying anything is the best way to go. What I have done with my students, was to take some of the questions that they will ask on the Written and make up little 5 or 10 question tests that are just hard enough that they have to look into the books to find the answers. Get your students going on test taking by giving them tests now. If you are working on Airspace, give them questions on that, and make it tough enough that they have to look in and read the Airspace section of your AIM. In the end if they don't study, thats really not your problem, you don't have to sign them off as being ready take a written test. Here in the States the Student has to pay a fee to take the tests, and get a CFI to sign off on it. If enough of my students fail then the FAA will want to talk to me about it. So I don't recomend a student before they are ready to take the test. I like my students to have the Writtens passed before the flying starts or soon after first solo. Having the writtens done is a good thing as it builds confidance in the flying part for the student.

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Winnie, it's hard to relate to helicopter student pilots not being motivated. When I was a student, all of us were keen as **** because we had a vision of where we were headed and didn't want to miss a lick of what we might need to get there. Later, when I instructed for a few years, I rarely found an unmotivated student.


Hopefully, we all know that even the schools these days are replete with kids that are so unmotivated they have to be dragged in by parents or truant officers. It has to be obvious that at least a smidgeon of this will show up in flying training.


Most importantly, Winnie, I believe that, if you're going to run a school, it's YOUR job to motivate your students and to use every bit of creativity at your disposal to keep them motivated. Use other pilots in your area, use the libraries of video and DVD material available, use bull sessions and award programs, but MAKE it happen. If you don't, you'll hate your results and you'll probably get out of training, which would be the biggest shame of all. We need good schools, and good graduates, motivated and excited about their careers. If they need help, and you're a trainer, YOU'RE the help they need. We both know it can be one of the most fulfilling roles in the industry - turning out students we're proud of - and it's entirely up to us if we've chosen the responsibility. B)

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Not sure I agree with that - it's only an instructor's job to make the learning process as interesting as possible - most of it is up to the student, which is what university is all about.


If you genuinely have tried to motivate them, and they still won't work - well, we don't need people like that in the industry.



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Well obviously, I have to have some responsibility, but there are only so many excursions one can do...


But on the other hand, they aren't failing the flight tests, so there flying abilities are OK, however, some of them (not all by any means) have a tendency to blow the written, and I wonder, is it something I do? My groundschool follows the Study and Reference guide almost to the point, so there really should be no problem, but then I start asking questions out of that to them and all I get is blank stares. :stupid: , that is incredibly irritating for me, and then I ask if they even looked at the reference guide, and they'll say noooo :blink: , why?


Now it may be that the atmosphere at school here is wrong, or the students are lazy, or they don't realize that some day some prospective employer is going to call me, and ask my opinion...

all I will say if it is that person is :down:


Later and thanks for replies :hide:

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