Traffic Schools Eagle ID
Web Can Ease Traffic School's Boredom
By Michelle Groh-Gordy
Question: My 19-year-old son just went to traffic school for the first time. I have driven for 40 years and have gone twice for citations. The first time I went, there was a former police officer who just talked and showed videos to try to fill the eight hours. The second time there was a lot of dead time with lots of miscellaneous talking just to fill that time.
When my son went to traffic school just this past Monday, he said that the instructor, who was an ex-police officer and soldier, spent most of the time talking about himself. He never showed a video and spent little time on driving or traffic info. This was a traffic school on the DMV list.
My questions to you are: Why do courts say we can't use online traffic schools? Who, if anyone, watches over these schools? Are they supposed to teach or is it just money for punishment? Have you ever sat in on one of these schools' sessions? - Cris Tarango, Walnut
Answer: I must admit, Cris, I feel your pain. Although it has been quite a few years, I too have some pretty unpleasant memories of my traffic school experiences. I remember resentment building up in me for days on end before I had to go, whining all the way there the day of the class, and sitting in a cramped kiddy desk or a smelly hotel meeting room feeling bitter and bored as some retired police officer droned on for hours about things that I felt I already knew. While traffic school is supposed to be a refresher course on driving and traffic law - those experiences sure as heck felt punitive to me.
When I retired from teaching high school and college to spend more time with my young sons, I decided I needed something to put some cash in my pocket and I answered an ad to teach traffic school on the weekends.
After I was hired, I was handed a 5-inch-thick manual with the DMV-approved curriculum in it. I was told to "find a way" to fill 400 minutes and to "crack some jokes" if I knew any - since this was a "comedy" school. At that moment, it became eminently clear to me why most traffic school experiences were so poor.
Teaching any subject for eight hours straight requires someone who really knows how to keep the interest of students by involving them in the learning process, varying the tempo and the impact of what is being taught, and understanding the importance of entertaining students to keep their attention.
While there are some traffic school teachers who are naturally gifted instructors and who work to create a class that embodies these qualities, most are simply people who have been handed a big book and told to find a way to teach what is between the covers for 400 minutes.
That explains why the online option has become a more desirable way to dull the pain of the traffic school experience.
Online traffic schools are approved now in nearly every county in California, except for a few holdouts such as Orange and Santa Clara counties, which run their...