Why we choose in-person classes.

We taught online classes.

At the onset of Covid-19, the State of Connecticut began allowing driving schools to offer driver education virtually. Health concerns were high but teenagers still needed to learn to drive and driving schools needed to stay in business. It made sense. Ridgefield Driving School followed suit, as it was the only way to continue moving forward. We would teach our classes the same way we had been teaching them for years, just through a compter screen.

It became immediately apparent, however, that online classes were not the same.

We have personally been teaching Ridgefield Driving School classes for more than a decade and we take pride in keeping students’ attention and providing a lively, interactive learning environment. All of our students are expected to participate, ask questions and be an active part of the conversation. We encourage this, first, by setting an example as lively, interactive instructors. We call students by name, do not allow external distrations, and offer the class information through a variety of mediums.

Online classes destroy these ideas. Students sit on the far side of a screen with the opportunity to not pay attention and not be a participant. Phones, alternate screens, little brothers and a dozen other distractions become a problem. Students no longer benefit from body language or voice inflection that acompanies a statement. They no longer have the ability to see how other students react to an idea or see that someone else (besides themselves) may not fully understand a concept. And the same goes in the opposite direction. Teachers can tell, simply by how a student answers a question or by the look on their face, whether or not they grasp a concept. They can see when a student is zoning out or losing focus on a conversation. This is nearly impossible in an online class.

The vast majority of driving schools across Connecticut have remained online since the pandemic, presumably because it is cheaper and easier. Ridgefield Driving School has not. We will stay in person because we know that our classes offer a better and more effective teaching environment. We know our students will be safer, better equipped drivers as a result.

These words have been written by Ridgefield Driving School owners, Mark and Jackie Cyphers. The same two people who pick up every phone call, return every voicemail, and respond to every text message. The same people who teach 99% of the classes and still take kids out on the road for driving lessons.