alicej wrote:I'm going to be made redundant from my job of nearly 11 years very soon. Seriously thinking of training as a Bikeability Instructor. Quite excited about it.
If you are already an instructor, please could you tell me a little bit about what the job is actually like? What are the bad days like? What are the most difficult things about it? What are the best bits? Is there anything you wish you'd known about it before you started training? What sort of person do you think an instructor should ideally be?
I became a Bikeability instructor when I was made redundant. I was also working on an on-line degree, and have two children, so the flexibility was ideal for me. Honestly, I loved it, and planned to do it for at least a couple more years than I did, but Mr. V lost his job, so one of us had to find something that would support a family. If teaching Bikeability had done so, I'd still be doing it.
The best bits: helping someone learn to ride, or seeing a child find joy in cycling can be amazing
The worst bits: seeing a child gutted when you have to ask them not to continue on-road training
The absolute worst day I had, I called a head teacher to come and collect two students. The best day ever, was 25 degrees and sunshine, and 24 kids did all of the level 2 work like they'd been born on bikes.
The most difficult thing for me was communication via the local authority.
I think that anyone with reasonable communication skills, plus experience with, and enthusiasm for cycling will be a better instructor than the majority of those currently employed doing it.
There are three different ways to do this:
-work directly for a local authority or their staffing agency
-work for a private company
-become a self-employed contractor
Local authorities will sometimes provide training, insurance, clothing, and equipment. They are more likely to do than private companies, but also don't pay as well. Private companies tend to pay better, but provide less. The self-employed route will pay the best hourly rate, but of course, you have to arrange for all insurance and training. Additionally, it may be hard at first to find business.
The best part about working for a local authority is that they will provide at least some of the work. They may provide all of it, or also provide a list of contacts at the schools.
Working for a local authority may also lead to other job opportunities, such as coordinating Bikeability instructors, teaching road safety, etc.
My advice... (take what you want and leave the rest
Contact someone (or a couple of someones) working as a Bikeability instructor in your area. Check http://www.ctc-maps.org.uk/training/
Ask them what demand is like, if the market can bear another instructor, and what pay and conditions you can expect.
Work for someone else initially, as this will allow you to start earning while you learn the business. They may also be able to pair you with other instructors. My teaching partner was a club mate, but some of the instructors in my area just worked with someone else assigned by the local authority.