Training in a Shifting Climate
When working with his students, STA Training Instructor Jeff DeMers says his favorite part of the job is the aha moments.
“I love watching that light bulb go off,” said DeMers. “Especially when I’m working with a struggling student, who is having a hard time with a certain subject. They just need you to go a little bit deeper, and then it clicks.”
DeMers and his team have the responsibility of training STA coach operators to serve the public. They focus giving drivers the tools and skills they need to be effective and multi-skilled operators, ready for challenges both expected and unexpected.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also added new safety protocols to the curriculum for all of STA’s training courses.
“The training crew has implemented a lot of new protocols that have been put in place over the last year,” said DeMers. “One of the things I love about our department is how we are always there to support each other through the changes.”
Throughout the pandemic, DeMers has adapted to teaching his students in reduced class sizes from behind a mask.
“The smaller class sizes have allowed us to social distance and also have been a benefit in that I can get more one-on-one time with each student,” DeMers said. “I have more time to make sure everyone has a good grasp on the topic before we move on.”
DeMers considers it an honor to be given the trust of educating STA’s coach operators and making sure they’re ready to represent the agency inside the bus and out.