Drivers Ed Direct believes that our quality instructors are a vital part of the learning experience. Therefore, we follow the most rigorous screening standards in the industry to determine which instructors are suited to make your teenager's driving experience successful. In addition to hiring our instructors by committee, we conduct Department of Justice background checks, third party drug tests, and, we require that our instructors have all had prior experience working with teens in an educational capacity.
How did your lessons go?
To see what we demand from our highly qualified instructors, or to inquire about becoming an instructor yourself, read our instructor requirements here
THE CALIFORNIA CREW
(Los Angeles area... specifically.)
Movie: The Great Escape, Tommy Boy, Wedding Crashers, Donnie Darko & Breaking Away
Music: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Killers & Frank Sinatra
Hobby: Surfing, playing basketball and hiking with the family.
Tom and Conan in the Prius on the Tonight Show
Russell Brand Shares an anecdote about his driving lesson with Tom (on Jimmy Kimmel)
Check out Tom giving lessons on Dr. Phil
Tom gives Dr. Phil a hand with a tire changing competition
Student video testimonial for Tom
Teaching/Mentoring experience: With over 10 years experience behind-the-wheel and in the classroom, I have taught thousands of teenagers how to drive safely in the greater Los Angeles area. In addition, I am the lead instructor at Drivers Ed Direct and have personally trained all of our DMV licensed driving instructors. I have also coached soccer, track and football for boys and girls from ages 6 to 12 years old. One summer I lived in Hawaii and I spent the majority of it instructing kids, teenagers and young adults how to surf in the beautiful Pacific Ocean - that was my "Endless Summer".
Thoughts on teaching: Whenever you are able to impart knowledge & skills to somebody, that is satisfying; but when this knowledge and skills can actually make a difference in that person's life, then that's truly rewarding!
Thoughts on the environment: Mother Earth is beautiful and I would love to keep it that way for my kids; so, remember to always respect the outdoors and clean up after yourself!
Movie: Ocean's Eleven, The Dark Knight Rises, The Star Wars Saga, The Avengers and Inception
Music: U2, Coldplay & Carlos Santana
Hobby: Soccer, basketball, reading in my spare time and I have a big passion for swimming.
Other Languages: Spanish and learning French
Teaching/Mentoring experience: For the last three years I volunteered with my youth group, mentoring students of all ages. I would help them with everything from schoolwork to team building exercises. Growing up with an older and younger sibling, I found that learning the needs of others is very important.
Thoughts on teaching: There is a difference between teaching and being taught. When someone teaches, it is so rewarding to feel that you are helping another person be more knowledgeable in this world. There is amazing feeling you get when you know that you have helped a student achieve an understanding of a concept that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Knowing you did your part in helping others, that's what makes the teaching so unique.
Thoughts on the environment: Unfortunately this planet has been taken for granted. It is such a beautiful planet to all of humanity, but sadly because of so much pollution, the destruction of forest etc. it has become a very delicate planet. We should all take responsibility in treating our planet like it is... our home.
Movie: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Charade, A Face in the Crowd, The Big Lebowski & Five Easy Pieces
Music: Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Derek & the Dominos, Wilson Pickett & Creedence Clearwater Revival
Hobby: I enjoy playing basketball and ping-pong, reading, watching movies, and eating good food (which is not always the same as eating healthy food).
Teaching/Mentoring experience: Prior to becoming a driving instructor I was a math tutor, and helped many students survive their Pre-Calculus and Calculus courses.
Thoughts on teaching: Teaching is a great way to continue learning. When I try to explain something to students I gain a better understanding of the material, as well as a greater understanding of myself. Interacting with students is rewarding, because each one looks at the world in a totally unique way.
Thoughts on the environment: I like the environment. I want to get to know it. I don't want to kill it. I think littering is shameful.
Movie: The Fifth Element, Avatar, Tangled & King Kong
Music: Coldplay, Beyonce, Ryan Leslie, 311 & 112
Hobby: I enjoy hiking, running, and being outdoors; anything that keeps me active.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I worked for an afterschool program for 6 years. During this time I facilitated activities, assisted with homework, and mentored kids of various ages. I am a hard working, intelligent, and patient individual who has had many years of experience working with children and adults of all ages. I quickly developed great relationships with my students and their parents.
Thoughts on teaching: I strongly believe that we never stop learning. Having a great teacher is the most important part of learning. I feel everyone learns in a different way and it is important for us as instructors to be able to tailor our lessons to each individual.
Thoughts on the environment: We all live on earth together. It is each individual's responsibility to do his or her part. Together we can preserve the earth for generations to come.
Movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Superbad, Napoleon Dynamite, Crank & The Hunger Games
Music: Luke Bryan, Avicii, Ellie Goulding, Eli Young Band & Capital Cities
Hobby: In my free time, I enjoy different types of water and snow sports such as snowboarding and waterskiing. I like to choreograph dances and I'm a big animal lover, so I also enjoy spending time with my rescued dogs, Bogie and Nevil.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have over four years of experience working with children in professional, educational settings. I appreciate all learning styles a child may have and am experienced with special needs students. I currently attend college where I study psychology with a minor in child development. I have found a passion in teaching and enjoy being able to make any learning experience safe, fun and memorable.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe any time a student is taught, it should be a memorable experience. First and foremost, it is key to help the student remain calm, confident and safe. I strive to help the student link their lessons to real life experiences and relate to any concerns that they may have.
Thoughts on the environment: I believe we should always try to give back what we've taken from the earth. We live on an amazing planet, and it is everyone's duty to do their part to help preserve its vigor.
Movie: Tombstone, The Godfather series, & Pirates of the Caribbean
Music: U2, Offspring, & Fuel
Hobby: Beach volleyball and watching college football & basketball games
Listen to Chris on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO
Teaching/Mentoring experience: Over the last couple of years, I have taught more than 700 students on their way to becoming safe drivers. I take a focused but relaxed approach to driver training, tailoring each lesson to the needs of that driver. I've had a range of students, from teens or adults that were very nervous about driving for the first time to some who already had their licenses but wanted to brush up with more practice on defensive driving techniques, the freeways, canyons or traffic. Whatever your situation, you'll definitely learn something, develop more confidence and improve at a pace that's right for you.
Thoughts on teaching: When you're trying something new, it's important to relax, have a sense of humor about it and be patient with yourself. One of the best things about teaching is being a part of someone's break-through moments and cheering them on as they improve these skills that they'll use for the rest of their lives.
Thoughts on the environment: There's so much beauty in our environment I think sometimes we don't even notice it. Don't say, "Someone else will do that." We all live here. Take responsibility and respect what we've got.
Movie: The Pursuit of Happyness, Forrest Gump, He Got Game, Pulp Fiction, and Home Alone I & II
Music: I enjoy all genres of music!
Hobby: In my spare time I love to play or watch sports such as, basketball, football or baseball. I also enjoy hiking, listening to music, fashion, watching movies, and most of all spending time with family and friends.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I've encountered my very first mentoring experience during my freshman year of college, when I was an Assistant Coach for a Youth Boys Basketball Team. During that time I was able to make a positive impact on a young group of lives while being able to still have fun.
Thoughts on teaching: My teaching goal is to facilitate learning. My emphasis is on helping the student to learn, rather than just dispensing my knowledge to them. I also believe in the importance of communication. By using humor and a variety in teaching techniques, I am able to make learning enjoyable so as to motivate the students to learn.
Thoughts on the environment: As humans with responsibility, we all need to help keep our planet clean.
Movie: Training Day, I, Robot, Antwone Fisher, The Lord of the Rings & The Incredibles
Music: Funk Volume, The Doors, 311, Kendrick Lamar & All-American Rejects
Hobby: In my free time I enjoy watching and participating in sporting events, swimming and working out at the gym and spending time with family and friends.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I am a hard working, intelligent, and patient individual who has had many years of experience working with children and adults of all ages. Most recently, I taught P.E. for the YMCA at various elementary schools throughout the Valley. In my work as a play coach, I learned the joy of teaching. My open and calm personality allowed me to develop positive relationships with many of my students, and made my classes fun and instructive at the same time.
Thoughts on teaching: In terms of instructing I believe that the approach is better looked at as coaching than teaching. I enjoy helping to boost the confidence of my students as we improve together and experience the "aha!" moments, thus establishing good rapport between student and coach so that it will forever be a moment of remembrance and importance to the student.
Thoughts on the environment: I believe that everyone has to do their part in order to preserve our world for future generations to come. Start small, recycle-reduce-reuse, and it goes a long way.
Movie: Divergent, I Am Number Four, The Avengers, Fast & Furious 6 & Thor
Music: The Neighbourhood, Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey, Avicii & Imagine Dragons
Hobby: During my free time I like to ride my motorcycle, drive my car, and road or mountain bike.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I was involved in a public park club called "Teen Club" for 2 1/2 years. My duties included community service with kids, supervising summer camp, and hosting different events at the park for the kids.
Thoughts on teaching: Teaching is great opportunity to build confidence and meet new people. The ability share your knowledge, experiences, and ideas with others is remarkable. I find much satisfaction in knowing that I have influenced someone's life for the better.
Thoughts on the environment: Planet earth is an extraordinary and unique place, just like each of us. We wouldn't be alive if Earth didn't exist; therefore we have to take care of our planet, conserving its well-being.
Movie: Dirty Dancing, The Orphanage, Pan's Labyrinth, Ever After, The Dark Night, & Guess Who
Music: The Doors, Alpha Midgets, Jesse & Joy, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Só Pra Contrariar
Hobby: I enjoy creating memories through spontaneity: riding my road bike through the San Fernando Valley, Exploring the Malibu Mountains, Exploring new taste buds by cooking different recipes and hanging out with my family and friends
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I spent a summer helping high school teens building on their leadership skills and enriching their education through an after school program. I also have years of experience teaching teens behind the wheel training. I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing what I have done and what I can do to ensure they don't become part of the statistic that 50% of teens crash within the first year.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe in the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." Therefore, we are each a passerby with at least one thing to teach or instill in someone else during their journey. So, why not instill a lifelong skill that can break away from the bad habits that decrease the chance of growth.
Thoughts on the environment: We as living beings are made up of cells; we as people make up the body of planet Earth...so do unto it as you would do unto yourself. Nurture it. Love it!
Movie: Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Star Wars Saga, Tron, & Transformers
Music: The Beatles, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Death Cab for Cutie, & Foo Fighters
Hobby: Star gazing with my telescope, Basketball, Hiking, Jogging, & Roller Blading
Other Languages: Spanish & currently learning French
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I interned for 6 months at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA working with students of all ages helping them understand the importance of space exploration and manned space flight. I also tutored teens in Astronomy, Science and Biology.
Thoughts on teaching: Even before being an instructor with Drivers Ed Direct I loved teaching and mentoring those around me. Something I would say to my students at NASAs JPL is that anything is possible as long as you believe it is possible. With practice, determination and conviction you can achieve your goals and that is how I approach my students behind the wheel.
Thoughts on the environment: Our home planet Earth is like a beautiful jewel in the universe and unfortunately we don't take care of it as well as we should. I firmly believe that all of us have a responsibility as tenants on this beautiful planet. We need to personally do our part to help the environment and start with the small things that may not seem to matter at first.
Movie: Back To the Future I, II and III, Horrible Bosses, The Hangover, My Cousin Vinny, & Hot Fuzz
Music: Wasted Penguinz, Abandon All Ships, Linkin Park, Metric, & Eminem
Hobby: I'm into sports and fitness. I love hockey and my favorite team is the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion, Los Angeles Kings. I enjoy cycling and photography as well.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I worked as a summer camp counselor for three years. I worked with pre-teen and teenagers in many different facets, including team building exercises, art and crafts & many different sports.
Thoughts on teaching: I am very excited to share my knowledge and experience with others...it is very rewarding to help mankind.
Thoughts on the environment: Trying to save our environment in any way possible is vital for our well-being.
Movie: The Wedding Singer, Star Wars, The Phantom of the Opera, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, & Nacho Libre
Music: AFI, Thrice, Justin Timberlake, Arctic Monkeys, & OneRepublic
Hobby: During my free time, aside from drawing/sketching, hiking, swimming, and dancing, I enjoy traveling, photography, going to the beach to play beach volleyball and playing my guitar.
Other Languages: Spanish, American Sign Language (ASL)
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I am a hardworking, responsible, and patient individual who enjoys teaching useful skills to others. I have years of experience working with people of different ages, both children and adults. I went to college to earn a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting so I can be of aid to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community and American Sign Language students as a translator and tutor. While in college, I worked at Starbucks and learned -- and later taught -- the art of coffee and latte making, which surprisingly, is no easy task. I also volunteered -- and continue to do so -- as an ASL teacher/tutor to those wishing to learn or improve their signing skills. It was during this time, that I realized how much I truly enjoy being able to teach others the skills I possess so they too can be successful. My easy going, laid back and fun personality helps me to not only bond with my student, but make my teaching really enjoyable, and most importantly, instructive at the same time.
Thoughts on teaching: To be an effective teacher, I believe that having a student feel at home is one of the most important parts of teaching. This will enable the student to listen, remember and practice the good guidance they are being given. It also allows the teacher to be a better coach, and creates a bond with the student. This is where I, as the teacher, have to make sure that I not only teach them what they need to know, but treat the student with respect and dignity so they can effortlessly practice what they learn.
Thoughts on the environment: It is important for us to do what we can to preserve the beauty of our planet for our future and those who will live after us.
Movie: The Fifth Element, Angel-A, Léon: The Professional, Inglourious Basterds, & All-Star Superman
Music: Madlib, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, John Coltrane, & The Roots
Hobby: I enjoy watching shows, and interviews, and reading articles, books, etc., that engage and reveal the essence of topics and people. Mix in some weightlifting, sneaker blogs, video games, literary and visual art, and good conversation... I'd say that equates to a pretty cool day.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: My most consistent experience teaching/mentoring came when I worked at a special needs school. The student body consisted of elementary, middle, and high-school students. The students had various needs and diagnoses ranging from emotionally disturbed, bipolar, ADHD, and severe learning disabilities. I assisted them in formal education, as well as in enrichment classes. During my time there I further learned how effective sincerity is, whether it was time spent with the little children or teenagers. When you really want to help someone, if you mean it and they know you mean it that is where true refining can begin.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe teaching must possess certain attributes; a quality environment, for example, where students can be encouraged, have fun, and are given room to be expressive and learn from their mistakes. This type of atmosphere allows the student to relax so that the lesson may be well received and acted upon. The teacher and student are both learning and doing the lesson together.
Thoughts on the environment: Our environment is one of the most majestic things on the earth, from the sounds of thunder and rainfall to the scent of wildflowers. It is here to support us and teach us many things. It contains elements of life and death and life again. We see time through its seasons, and taste the food of its rich ground. It is a mother and a father to us, demanding respect, nurturing, hot, cold, deep, tall, wide, and hot and cold again. It shows us the consequences of being irresponsible. We must honor it with our actions.
Movie: The Great Gatsby, The Notebook & Forrest Gump
Music: Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Mariah Carey & Rihanna
Hobby: Hiking, Beach Cruising & hanging out with my family
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I worked for an after school enrichment program and for the Jewish Community Center for several years. Here I was responsible for picking up teenagers from middle schools and high schools. I created various activities to keep them engaged and assisted them with homework. I was also required to write weekly reports regarding improvements.
Thoughts on teaching: A Good teacher Explains ... A Superior teacher Demonstrates ... A GREAT teacher Inspires.
The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.
Thoughts on the environment: The environment is the most important resource for life. We get water, power and oxygen from the environment. It helps to clear pollution and is a large habitat for animals. There are simple ways we can help save the environment; plant more trees, walk more drive less, maintain our vehicles to reduce pollution, save water, recycle and reuse, but most importantly by creating awareness.
Movie: Psycho, All That Jazz, The Graduate, Amadeus & Finding Nemo
Music: You name it: Beethoven to James Brown, Little Richard to Diana Krall
Hobby: Movies, NBA basketball (Lakers), travel, & reading
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I was a Teachers Assistant in college at USC, and I taught video/film production to teenagers in Middle & High School.
Thoughts on Teaching: I think teaching is one of the most elegant forms of generosity there is. We all know something, so why not share it?
Thoughts on the environment: I can't control what others do. But I can control what I do, and I choose to take a small step and do what I can. Maybe my small step will inspire someone else to do the same. I wonder what would happen if 5 or 6 billion people all take a step.
Movie: Mulan, Ace Ventura Pet Detective, Identity Thief, Rush Hour, & White Chicks
Music: Maroon 5, Queen, Nickelback, Lady Antebellum, & Taylor Swift
Hobby: Chess, Fixing computers, Surfing the Web, Scrabble, & Cooking
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have worked with youth in after school programs teaching them art, Spanish, cooking and other fun activities.
Thoughts on teaching: Teaching somebody else so that they can learn something new and excel at it is rewarding and fills my spirit. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with others that want to learn and grow.
Thoughts on the environment: The environment is a significant part of our everyday life. I do my best to reduce my own carbon footprint and share with others on how they can do the same.
Movie: Heat, Forrest Gump, Scarface, & Stripes
Music: Moby, Crystal Method, KLF, & Bee Gees
Hobby: Car Shows, AutoXing, Unicycling, Rollerblading, Hiking, & Movies
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have been involved teaching youth / adult programs for roughly 15 years. It's the fresh faces and challenging students that put a smile on my face each day. In my spare time, when I'm not in the passenger seat teaching ...I'm in my driver's seat at local track events competing or attending performance driving schools keeping up to date on the advancements of car handling techniques.
Thoughts on teaching: Teaching behind the wheel is a wonderful chance for me to share my experience and passion for driving. It's rewarding to support and encourage people to maximize their potential, develop their skills and improve their confidence, so they can become the driver they want to be.
Thoughts on the environment: The environment to me should be treated like you would your loyal pet. Keep the water and food supply clean, and the air fresh and most importantly take care of it when it's sick. Do this and you'll never have to worry about them turning "Cujo" on you while you're asleep.
Movie: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Iron Man, The Fox and the Hound, The Breakfast Club, & Finding Nemo
Music: The Beatles, Stray Cats, Kristina Train, Tokio Hotel, & Muse
Hobby: I enjoy spending my time volunteering in my community. I am passionate about art and literature.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: In the last few years, I was able to work alongside educators in the school district, assisting them with in class tutoring. I have always enjoyed helping others learn new things. In the years that I have worked in the classroom, I was able to learn the art of teaching and patience. I am an easy going and fun person who is eager to help students learn.
Thoughts on teaching: I have always felt that the best type of teaching is the type that is filled with laughter. Teaching for me is working together with students, using their own experiences and opinions to understand the best way to reach our goal. When a teacher and student work together, learning is an adventure not a chore.
Thoughts on the environment: We all live on this Planet, so we must all preserve the environment for future generations.
Movie: Jurassic Park, Transformers, Casablanca, I Am Legend, & Cinema Paradiso
Music: Linkin Park, Frank Sinatra, Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, & Rage Against The Machine
Hobby: In my free time I like to go hiking or heading out to the beach, also working on cars.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: For the past few years I have been doing community service for a non-profit organization. I have also been a teacher's aide, helping younger kids with math.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe that you must share your knowledge with the world so everyone can grow and progress.
Thoughts on the environment: I think humanity as a whole has to put effort to preserve our planet earth, so future generations can enjoy this world.
Music: Creedance Clearwater Revival & Bob Dylan
Hobby: Running, hiking, books, and movies.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: For two years I assisted with the Special Olympics program, which was both rewarding and fun.
Thoughts on teaching: When teaching, I think that it is always important to recognize and accommodate each student's specific needs. Getting behind the wheel is exciting, but also a great responsibility. When preparing a student it's important to adapt to the student's learning process, but also keep it fun. Learning anything new is a challenge, so keeping a good sense of humor about it is integral.
Thoughts on the environment: We only have one and we should take care of it.
Movie: The Notebook, Little Miss Sunshine, Legends of the Fall, Hotel Rwanda, Pay it Forward, Saw (from Little Miss Sunshine to Saw??). I could go on, but I won't.
Music: Flight of the Concords
Hobby: Traveling, Rollerblading, Shopping, perezhilton.com (I know, shameful), Movies, Game Nights
Teaching/Mentoring experience: Teaching students to drive is such a rewarding experience. Seeing the look on a student's face when they finally get that turn right or that stop nice and smooth is one of the most satisfying moments in teaching. It's so amazing what can be accomplished within a 2-hour lesson, and at the end the student beams with pride at their behind-the-wheel accomplishments. Sometimes being taught by fantastic teachers is all the experience one needs to be just as fabulous. I've had some pretty incredible teachers in my life -- actually I still do. I'm learning something new everyday, and I plan to use those experiences to teach others just as fantastically (yes, fantastically is a word -- and kinda' fun to say)!
Thoughts on teaching: When I thought back to the subjects in school that were the most interesting and fun to learn, I realized that it wasn't so much the subjects as it was the teachers. It's amazing what a difference the right kind of teacher can make. Learning should be fun, no matter what the subject. I'd like to be remembered for making learning an exciting and fulfilling experience.
Thoughts on the environment: Have you ever gone for a drive right after a really windy day and thought you were going the wrong way because things didn't look familiar? Then you realized that you're not on the wrong freeway or street, it's just that it's so clear outside that you can actually see a lot farther and things look, well, different? Well, if we don't clean up our acts and begin to cherish our environment, the next generation won't even have that!
Movie: Titanic, Beauty and the Beast, The Sandlot, & Four Brothers
Music: Fall Out Boy, Maroon 5, & The All-American Rejects
Hobby: In my free time I enjoy traveling, reading, and hanging out with my family and friends.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have worked with my local schools and churches to develop tutoring programs and classes that teach children the fundamentals to do well in school.
Thoughts on teaching: As a teacher it is very important to assess a child's needs and teach every student in a way that makes them thoroughly understand.
Thoughts on the environment: We have lived our lives assuming that what was good for us must be good for the world when in reality we have been wrong. We have to change our lives now so that it will be possible to live under the assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. In order for us to do that we need to make the effort and learn what is good for it.
How did your lessons go?