Thad Nolan- Automotive Technician Instructor
The days of the corner garage and the grease monkey have long since gone. The automobile of today has evolved into a rolling technological wonder with many advanced safety features and electronics. To understand, diagnose, and repair the modern vehicle is a never ending challenge. That is what fascinates me the most about working in the auto industry.
To take a car that is no longer operating as designed, gather the pertinent information, apply deductive reasoning skills, develop a hypothesis, test your theory, and then repair the problem to return the vehicle to the proper operating state is a daunting task. The many disciplines one has to know to become even an above average technician are even more impressive. It’s not just basic mechanical skills that one needs, but all of the sciences as well. Even after working in the industry for more than 30+ years I still haven’t learned everything, which keeps me always wanting to learn more.
The thing I enjoy most about teaching is taking a group of students with some basic aspirations about becoming an auto technician and introducing them to some beginning operational theories of the automobile. Then building upon that foundation until they are able to apply what they have learned to achieve a goal.
To me, there is no greater pleasure than when after diligent study and work, the preverbal light bulb comes on inside a students mind, and they understand how all the pieces come together. It’s at that point that they can start to apply their new found knowledge not just to the subject at hand, but to the many different aspects of life. To see their eyes light up and the thoughts in their brain start racing is sheer joy for me.
That’s what makes teaching, for me, so rewarding.