The best you can be
There are many reasons to be the best instructor you can be, but here's one you might not have considered.
A while back I had a conversation with a young CFI who had 3,500 hours of flight time. He lamented that he was unable to move up to flying bigger and faster airplanes despite the sizeable amount of experience in his logbook. I asked him if he enjoyed flight instructing, and he candidly replied, "Oh, not really, it's just a means to an end."
Now that's terribly unfortunate. Undoubtedly this young man never completely dedicated himself to training his students. Sure, he taught them correctly, but they probably sensed that his primary motivation was something other than teaching people how to fly. As a result, this young man deprived himself of a valuable networking resource: his students.
Students are, after all, excellent foot soldiers when it comes to networking for aviation jobs. Some students work for companies having corporate airplanes. A few own corporations that may eventually purchase larger airplanes. Others hear about flying jobs as a result of their association with aviation. Each student has the potential to help you further your aviation career. But what motivation do these students have to assist an instructor who didn't give entirely of him- or herself during the flight training process?
The fact is that good instructors who take an active interest in their students' aviation development are always better off. Always!
So be the best flight instructor you can be. Read the articles in this magazine carefully. Use the ideas presented here and elsewhere to help your students be the best they can be. In the long run, it will pay off for your students and you, too.
By Rod Machado