A Day in the Life: Changing lives as a contracted driving instructor

By Allison Bench

Learning to drive is one of life’s big milestones. And as a contracted AMA driving instructor, Aileen Waldie has been part of that experience for hundreds of Albertans. This Calgarian instructor gets a front-seat view of our province’s future as she helps students of all ages gain freedom and independence. 

Some of Waldie’s favourite teaching moments are when she finds herself instructing the sibling of a previous student. “It feels like you’re a part of the family’s journey,” she says. “I love seeing the kids become independent, seeing them realize their responsibility as drivers.” 

Waldie’s previous job was as a sales coach at Royal Bank of Canada for 40 years. She now uses those skills in a different way, coaching her driving students to become confident and assured behind the wheel—an “amazing, nothing-like-it responsibility” that makes her excited to get up in the morning. 

And it’s all done on her own schedule. She picks the days she works, typically booking three two-hour lessons for a shift. Though she prefers weekends, her flexibility as a contractor means she can work nearly full-time in a customizable way—sometimes slotting in evening shifts to accommodate eager students looking to learn after school. She’s her own boss, with ongoing training and support from AMA. 

“There’s truly nothing like watching my students—once anxious behind the wheel—become safe, confident drivers who are excited to take their road test and start their next big adventure.” 

Are you a patient person, eager to help drivers of all ages become safe drivers for life? Start your rewarding teaching journey at ama.ab.ca/TeachDE