One of the biggest challenges for most adult learners is getting into a learning mindset when they are in any type of training situation. Unfortunately, many adult learners don’t go to truck driving school with the idea that they are going to learn anything new. Instead they arrive on day one with the attitude that they can just coast through the training and easily pass the exam on the other side to get their CDL. They often see the training as a waste of time or a sort of a break before they actually get down to work.
Getting into a learning mindset is essential for anyone going to truck driving school. This is true if you have never operated a truck or if you are coming back into the trucking industry after letting your last CDL expire. Often the people that are coming back into the industry have the hardest time in letting go of how they did things in the past and being open to learning new techniques and new technologies that are now a part of the industry.
A learning mindset is more than just showing up on time and paying attention. It includes understanding the importance of absorbing all you can from the training, the professional instructors, and those students that are also there to learn. To do this you should actively engage in the following learning techniques that will help you to get real value out of your training.
Be There Every Day – Mentally As Well As Physically
There are those students that will come to class every day or every scheduled class or driving time, then there are those that will skip or miss several days during the training program. Most driving schools are designed to be as short in duration as possible, meaning less time away from home or the job for those attending. It is critical to avoid missing any days or any classes whenever possible.
If you are going to have to miss a day be sure to notify the instructors in advance and have someone there that can give you information correctly and accurately on what you have missed.
Besides being in class hazmatendorsement physically, you also have to be there mentally. Keep yourself focused, avoid trying to think about other things while you in in the class or during the practical part of the training. A critical issue will be to get enough sleep to allow you to get through the day and still be mentally alert.
Avoid Bad Influences
This may sound like something that your mother mentioned to you each day before elementary school, but it still stands as an adult going through a classroom training program. Those funny people in school that are always making jokes or asking the questions to drive the instructors crazy are not an asset to you or your training.
However, in most truck driving schools, their behavior in the classroom is not the bad influence you have to avoid. What you need to be very careful about is listening to their alternate options for completing a task or using a particular driving technique or method. This is most often from people that have some experience with driving a truck and have found a way that works for them to back up, do a pre-trip inspection, secure a load or any number of other tasks.