Motivating Students

iFLY87

Well-Known Member
I just got my CFI a couple weeks ago and was hired the next day by the university where I did my training. I was given six students who I have been trying to fly with for a few weeks now. Nobody wants to fly. I don’t know how to motivate them without forcing it on them. They all have money on account but don’t really seem to care about flying. I have two of those six students who really want to fly and meet with me every chance they get. The other four don’t answer my phone calls or say they only want to fly twice a week at max. What can I do to motivate these students so they will want to fly? Is it possible or should I just let it go. One of my students inparticular has been working on his private for over 1 1/2 years and other instructors just give up on him and pass him on. I don’t want to just pass him on but I would like to motivate him to finish.
 

tgrayson

New Member
What can I do to motivate these students so they will want to fly? Is it possible or should I just let it go.
You can't supply a motivation that doesn't exist; all you can do is provide an environment that allows an existing motivation to flourish. For the guys who won't call you back, it seems clear that they aren't interested in what you're selling; I'd leave them alone. For the guys who only want to fly twice per week, what's wrong with that?

Be careful about placing your own flying needs ahead of those of your students or you may drive them away. Find out what their goals are rather than assuming they have the same ones you do.

And, as you may know, there's a good chance you were given these students because no one else wanted them.
 

moxiepilot

Well-Known Member
Good post.

My initial reaction is that "you get what you give." And from that I mean in the student's perspective.

If they do not have motivation to fly there could be many causes ranging from: not wanting to do it in the first place (following daddy's / mommy's footsteps) to having poor learning experiences (unenthusiastic instructors) to frusteration (not having an instructor try multiple methods to approaching the same difficulty) to commitment.

My advice is to look at each one of these students individually and identify the source of the lack of motivation. The ones you can solve, try to work with. The ones you can't, leave alone.

As for the 2x per week people, that's their perogative. Just remind them to study in between flights if they can, they will retain more and progress relitively faster.

As for the 1 1/2 year fella, you also have to identify the underlying cause. Some people take longer, some people don't care that it does...
 

Crockrocket94

Well-Known Member
Took me 4 years to get my Private :)

There were circumstances however.

I would meet with them and set up goals and deadlines that you want to make. See why it is taking them so long to get the private, and go from there. Maybe he had a bad experience, maybe he doesnt really enjoy flying, who knows. I suggest you go find out.
 

Sidious

Well-Known Member
Kick em in the stomach. Works like a charm for motivation. Report back when you've done this
















But really... what everyone else has said is golden. I had a guy that didn't want to fly either. I still called him to see but I stopped worrying if I could get him finished or not.

A great instructor once told me "Often times you will want to worse than they do" And that has helped me get throught the ones that don't care.
 

matt152

Well-Known Member
I had a guy (about 16 years old) who was basically just flying because his father wanted him to be a "senior airline pilot."

The kid is a good stick, but he is just not motivated. On a dual cross-country he asked me: "This is boring; do you enjoy this?" He has about 30 hours total time.

I sat down with him after the flight and asked him why he wanted to fly. He didn't really have an answer. I told him he might want to reconsider this as an occupation if he is bored with x/c flight after 30 hours in the airplane.

His father eventually pulled him out of the school due to grades. Hopefully he will come back when he decides to do this for himself.
 
R

Roger, Roger

Guest
I wish I knew the answer to your question. I wish all students had a real passion for aviation and cared enough to inform themselves, but they don't. Sometimes they just don't like to study and you have to force them to do so, sometimes they are motivated to study but just don't know enough to know what to study or how to study on their own. Every once in a while you get a student who is motivated AND really sharp. That's a pity, because those are the ones you don't get to spend very much time with.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
I have two of those six students who really want to fly and meet with me every chance they get. The other four don’t answer my phone calls or say they only want to fly twice a week at max.

Concentrate on giving the 2 good students good constructive instruction, and don't worry about the other 4. Pretty soon, you'll have all the students you can handle.
 

kgflyboy

New Member
I'm not a CFI, so my advice might be shot down quickly. I do, however, have a degree and experience in secondary education. If you choose to simply focus on the 2 motivated students I would completely understand.

I would approach each student with a specific plan that has the same underlying parts.
First: establish relevance. Students need to know why they are learning each thing you teach them. If they don't get this from teachers they often lose motivation and interest. One student may want to be an airline pilot, while another might be studying to become an A&P, airport manager, etc. Some students might not see why a ppl is relevant for them until you show them.

Second: I would make sure they aren't getting bored because they aren't challenged enough. If the lessons contain the appropriate amount of rigor, they will learn much quicker. Developing "rigor" in lessons doesn't mean making them hard. It means teaching them to analyze, evaluate, and apply information they learn both on the ground and in the air. Not only will they learn more, they will look forward to lessons more.

Third: develop relationships with your students. I don't mean befriend them. I mean help them feel comfortable discussing their goals, questions, and progress with you. If they know you as a person and not just "another instructor" they are more likely to tale your advice when you tell them to study, work hard, and fly often.

I am by no means an expert, and I continually learn and improve my teaching skills. I hope this helps. Good luck.
 

JulietBravo

On Call, On Demand
I have an instrument student who isn't very motivated. After having some trouble with getting his private, he just doubts himself all the time and doesn't show any ambition. He's been working on his instrument since last October. With our University and 141 program, we give them a semester for the instrument. You can, however go into the next semester but you do not get a grade until you take your checkride.

I've tried hard to get him motivated and actually excited to fly but it's almost impossible. Finally, I talked to our Chief CFI and if he doesn't finish by this semester, he receives a F in the course and has to resign up for it. (And repay) After telling him this, we are now bound to get done by New Years and he is really pushing himself now!!

That's my experience.
 

splash

your social justice comic center
Students need to know why they are learning each thing you teach them. If they don't get this from teachers they often lose motivation and interest. One student may want to be an airline pilot, while another might be studying to become an A&P, airport manager, etc. Some students might not see why a ppl is relevant for them until you show them.
:yeahthat: all great advice but this is the icing on the cake here. I remember not having any idea why these instuctors were teaching me how to do a stall until my solo stage check. The chief pilot said, "airspeed is the only instrument you look at on final and you be sure to look at it alot. Whap, bham... It then hit me why I was doing stalls but I should have known this way way before this time.

I have an instrument student who isn't very motivated. After having some trouble with getting his private, he just doubts himself all the time and doesn't show any ambition. He's been working on his instrument since last October. With our University and 141 program, we give them a semester for the instrument. You can, however go into the next semester but you do not get a grade until you take your checkride.

I've tried hard to get him motivated and actually excited to fly but it's almost impossible. Finally, I talked to our Chief CFI and if he doesn't finish by this semester, he receives a F in the course and has to resign up for it. (And repay) After telling him this, we are now bound to get done by New Years and he is really pushing himself now!!

That's my experience.
Wow, I was this student to the "T" (even got down to that "F" thingy for my instrument) not liking owning up to it but here you go it may help you out.

It all came down to the long term goal of becoming a commercial seaplane pilot. As a student at the time I couldn't find the motivation for the instrument because I could not convence myself that I would ever be flying a seaplane in IMC. I thought it was so geared to becoming an airline pilot because at that time the school stressed about bad weather flying throughtout my whole private then they wanted to train me how to do it in this little 152. A jet, ok the instruments seemed much more reliable and trustworthy than these that tumbled around in a cage. It was very hard for me to find the motivation for the instrument rating. It took me about 2 1/2 years to complete. I flet like I was learning all the big jet slang about flying in which I had no intention of ever flying.
 
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