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Discussion Starter #1
Where I live all of the groups pretty much give the instructors track time and lunch in return for them instructing.

So we instruct, and get to drive for free and get free lunch too.

What have you all seen around the nation here? I have seen some groups charge for events to even the instructors, I have also seen groups pay $100 per weekend to instructors, but in my experience both are pretty rare.

I ask because one of my favorite clubs (it is a favorite because I have been with them for about 10 years now and like the people), anyway, they decided to no longer offer lunch to the instructors... it is actually quite sudden for the decission too.

I know it sounds piddly, but an extra $20 a weekend on top of everything else and working just as much as ever before (actually feels harder in this club due to the lack of breaks. It is in, in, rest, drive x4 throughout each day)... I dunno...

So what do you all think? Would you still instruct if they started pulling your bennifits from you? What is the straw that breaks the camel's back for you? Is it lunch? Is it track time? What?

Dave
 

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Well, in South Florida NASA, PBOC, and CHIN you only get track time and not lunch. Since I have only known that system I have been happy. If you got lunch then you were ahead of other clubs. I know that instructing saved me lots of money during the season. The only pain in the butt is jumping in and out of cars with minimal time to breathe except for lunch.

It is what it is.
 

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No lunch here, but free track time...

This may sound crazy, but this year I often pay when I instruct even though I'm not required to. My thought is that this is such a great time and with so many fun activities (like track time) getting pinched by the economy, I'll gladly pay to keep the track days we have--- even if I'm "working" the event. At the end of it all, I only instruct when I have the energy and time to. Sometimes I just want to enjoy the day to myself and dial in the car and just don't want to worry about the teaching part.

I'd NEVER instruct if I did it for the perks that go along with the job. It's gotta be something we do because we want to help people get to the next level- regardless of the lunch or track time that goes along with it, IMO...

Those comments aren't directly pointed to you, Dave. Just some personal observations that may relate to the topic:eek:

Have a great one,

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Phil!

I didn't take it as an attack, it's actually some much appreciated input.

I dunno though, I feel like when I am assigned 2 students out of 3 run groups and don't get a break except for the single session I get to rest and am requested to being passengers along for rides... It is work... FUN work, but it is still a whole hell of a lot of wear and tear on your body.

I absolutely love instructing. I find it rewarding to get someone from zero to hero out on the track. However, I know that I would not do it if I were not getting free track time. The risk far outweighs the reward. And in the clubs I participate with, we don't get to decide to instruct for a session or not, when we are assigned, we belong to that student for the weekend. We can sign a student off if they drive well, but I find that they usually prefer to have me in the car helping tune their skills.

If I had the money, I too would absolutely pay to play. If I did that, I would volunteer my time as a back-up instructor. Unfortunately, I do about 12 events or more per season and that would be in the $5K range for entry fees alone... which is WAY out of my budget. I have considered doing fewer events and paying to play, but a bunch of the clubs I participate with only allow the instructor session to pass anywhere with a pointby, I find passing only in the straights boring.
 

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One school I instruct with does 4 sessions each day (2 days) for the instructors plus lunch for two days.

Another does 2 instructor sessions (lunch and end of the day) and lunch.

Another does multiple sessions throughout the day and lunch.

I've also done the pay to be an instructor thing too (early on, 1 day school, and I was a new instructor).

If you are a good instructor (a good instructor for a school is one that 1. keeps students safe and 2. keeps students coming back for another weekend) then free sessions and lunch seem to be MORE than fair.

That said, I really appreciate the free track time and I understand the crunch many schools/folks are in.

I'd still be going to track days and I'd still want to help other people become better drivers even if I wasn't getting comped with time and lunch. It's just way too rewarding to see someone's confidence in themselves increase so dramatically in such a short period of time.

(Just noticed that other folks are not getting lunch... maybe food is just cheaper here in Texas.) ;)
 

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So what do you all think? Would you still instruct if they started pulling your benefits from you? What is the straw that breaks the camel's back for you? Is it lunch? Is it track time? What?
To answer this question directly:
  1. Would I still instruct if they started pulling your benefits from you? - Yes.
  2. What is the straw that breaks the camel's back for you? - When I'm not having fun anymore (folks running the school are dicks, students don't appreciate you, etc.)
  3. Is it lunch? Nope.
  4. Is it track time? I hate to say it, but I'd probably still instruct even if I didn't get track time. It is that rewarding for me. (I really hope Rick doesn't read this thread!)
  5. What? See two above.
 

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Dave:

We initially bought everyone lunch as part of our track days, but the catering bill started to really skyrocket and given the choice we opted to keep pricing the same, drop the lunch and keep our three run group format to maximize track time.

Our instructors have never paid and never will. I've always been shocked when a group expects an instructor to get in the car of a student to help said organization and then ask the instructor to pay, even if it's a reduced fee.

Feff
 

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Interesting questions. I've done several instruction days for multiple organizations, but all at the same track (H2R in central Texas). In one instance I did have to pay for the event/track time, but every entity has provided free lunches for instructors. The one event that did charge for track time was an all Lotus track day, so I would have opted to pay for the event anyway.

I think the issue with suddenly withdrawing benefits--like free lunch or track time--for instructors is much like trying to change the terms and condition of employment from an HR standpoint. Once you've established a record of providing certain benefits to a group, it's easier to "grandfather" those individuals into whatever new rules are established, and change the benefits for new employees/instructors. So, perhaps the event organizers would issue lunch vouchers for experienced instructors who have donated their time in past events, but charge for "new" instructors after a certain date.

Better yet, if the budget is that darn tight that they can't fund a few lunches, increase the entry fees by $2-3 per entrant and cover the costs as a gesture of goodwill toward instructors.

Having said all that, I agree with Rich S and would probably continue to donate my time regardless of the freebies offered.
 

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Seriously?!?

Instruct because you care! Otherwise you are not doing anyone justice! I pay(a reduced rate), get no lunch, and usually miss a lot of my own track time. That's fine with me...where would we all be if some one didn't take the time with us...in the wall or a poor instructor!!! The saem goes for teaching anything, you either fully commit or get out of the way. I an instructor makes you feel good, but a great instructor actually makes you good!
 

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sell solo stickers for burgers....

:p
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, as always, there is more to the story...

I know the organizer pays for food (lunch and dinner) and rooms for the registration and tech volunteers. And they get free track time too. Why buy them rooms? Couldn't that be a great way to cut costs?

Lets pretend the track is one that is known for being uber expensive, where the rooms on site are frikkin almost 2x what you would pay off site. Why cut out one bennifit for people that work far harder when you can simply adjust a little, say purchase rooms at the best western for almost half the cost? Require the peopel getting free rooms to double up so you have half the expense of rooms?

Hell, they could even buy 10 pizzas and have the instructors eat that (you can negotiate prices with Dominos and get them for around $6 each maybe).

I guess it is a little thing in the long run, but it is a detail that will certainly keep the good instructors happy and returning over deciding to go to the other clubs.

I am also not on the same fence as those that think I am a jerk for mentioning liking my perks as an instructor. I love the teaching part, and I feel that I am VERY good at it. But my time, and the risk that I take is worth something. If this group can't pony up and pay my fee, than there are 5 other groups that would gladly take me on.

I already committed to going to this event. I am not going to make a stink to the director, or put him in a bind by bailing (since it is this weekend) But I am not sure I'll register with them any longer... not sure I wont either... I am still very conflicted...

Hey all, thanks a lot for the feedback! You are all helping me make my decission (on both sides of the fence).

Thanks!
 

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Correction on the above about Chinmotorsports - I have been with Chin for about 7 years instructing and add about another 3 years actually a paying customer, As with most HPDE's Instructors get free track time and a couple of years ago they started with free snacks and cold drinks during the events but lunch was on your own. On some harder to fill events like the 2-day at Roebling Road in Savannah, You receive a one year membership free for signing up to instruct - Even instructors must have a membership! I think that is around $40.00 a year - well worth it in my book!~ Instructing is the only way I can afford to enjoy track days with the current economy so I consider myself fortunate!
NZ
 

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Im not an instructor but as a person going to track days I often get the thought of what it takes to become an instructor. I have asked several and got different answers...

Is it just getting in advance and doing that for some time till someone recommends you? or...
 

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Most schools are always looking for folks who would be good instructors.

You could certainly let your school organizer know that you are eventually interested in becoming an instructor. Personally I'd be very humble about this. "I'm really fast and a great driver, why haven't you asked me to be an instructor yet?" is a sure fire way to never becoming an instructor. "I really enjoy these weekends and feel like I'm learning quite a bit. At some point in the future I could see myself developing enough to the point where I could teach others. I love to teach folks about XXX and I'd like to add the goal of eventually becoming an instructor. Are there things that I could do now to help me towards that goal?" would be a MUCH better way to communicate your intent.

Also, hang out with the other drivers and instructors. Be the guy who is always willing to help someone else. Be sociable. Of course it should go without saying, but also be a good driver (no aggressive moves around other drivers, don't miss flags, keep your wheels on the track, be consistent, be extra good about giving point bys, etc.).
 

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Great thoughts...thanks.

I think what has been tough for me is being consistent with a specific club due to club event dates, etc. so I have not been loyal to one over another. In my area it seems like BMW and Porsche do more than most and have multiple clubs so I belong to several clubs now. So the writing on the wall is I need to narrow in and be a consistent attender.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yup, NASA requires a membership too, and I agree, well worth the money!

I have only heard good things about Chin.

Correction on the above about Chinmotorsports - I have been with Chin for about 7 years instructing and add about another 3 years actually a paying customer, As with most HPDE's Instructors get free track time and a couple of years ago they started with free snacks and cold drinks during the events but lunch was on your own. On some harder to fill events like the 2-day at Roebling Road in Savannah, You receive a one year membership free for signing up to instruct - Even instructors must have a membership! I think that is around $40.00 a year - well worth it in my book!~ Instructing is the only way I can afford to enjoy track days with the current economy so I consider myself fortunate!
NZ
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Easiest way to become an instructor is to have about 30 events under your belt, and have at least one instructor clinic under your belt.

Once you have the 30ish events (yes, 60 days) you should be able to simply sign up for an instructor clinic.

I go to at least one clinic per year with BSR (the on site company at Summit Point). I have paid to do the level one clinic with NASA (which is required now for NASA events to be a certified instructor). I will do more NASA instructor clinics when they are closer to home (Summit Point) rather than VIR.

People will recommend you, you can also express interest bu mentioning to the organizer/director that you are interested in instructing with the club.

Hope that helped!

Im not an instructor but as a person going to track days I often get the thought of what it takes to become an instructor. I have asked several and got different answers...

Is it just getting in advance and doing that for some time till someone recommends you? or...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Correction on the above about Chinmotorsports
I read the whole thread like 6 times and can't find any mention of Chin... I am for sure not talking about Chin, and actually prefer to NOT mention the club, or any club in a negative manor... I still consider them all friends and prefer to not pass on bad publicity to any of them.

Hope I didn't offend you.
 
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