On March 6 - 7, 2012, I attended a Motorcycle Safety Course taught by Texas Motorcycle Training of Plano, TX.
I strongly believed that when I signed up for this course, it would be taught by a professional that had teaching skills, and respected the rights of others. I was very disappointed to find out the instructor/owner (Jim Slaughter) intended to teach using intimidation and yelling to get his point across. On multiple occasions the instructor would yell at the class in general, or an individual, if an infraction had occurred. Many times the instructor would not explain himself adequately as what he was expecting, and subsequently an infraction would occur, which brought the yelling or a snide remark. One student other than myself named him the Cycle n**i. The instructor also made a point of telling the class about how many students he had dismissed from previous classes. This was obviously an attempt to get the class in line!
Jim Slaughter remarked that he was a former Marine and his style reminded me of a drill instructor. I did not enlist in the Marines, nor did I expect to attend a Marine Boot Camp, just a motorcycle safety course. Yelling and intimidation is not an effective teaching technique for anyone over the age of 2, and probably not at that age either. If the instructor would have just pointed out the problem, and a solution, the adults in the class would have responded accordingly.
In my opinion the instructor, Jim Slaughter, should either take some courses in proper teaching techniques, or retire as a Motorcycle Safety Course instructor.
After a day and a half I could not take Jim Slaughters abuse any longer and confronted him. I was then kicked out of the class.
There are many other Motorcycle Safety Courses out there that are taught by people that know how to instruct in a positive manner. I had a friend who took a course that was fun and very positive. I choose to take a course from Texas Motorcycle Training of Plano, TX because it was $50 cheaper than my friends course. I guess you get what you pay for.
Additional comments: Repeated comments by instructor that if anyone falls behind they will be removed from class and they can take private lessons for $680, but he would give them a $150 credit. Is this a way of trying to sell private lessons?
Hardly any breaks during class. The class was taught in a shopping mall parking lot which did not have restroom facilities. There were no set breaks and the couple of breaks that were offered; we only had ten minutes to get from the parking lot to the mall, find a restroom, and return. Only 30 minutes for lunch on both days, and again we had to run for a fast food restaurant, stuff down a sandwich, and run back to the class. We were told repeatedly that if we did not get back to class on time that we would be removed. All this and the class got out early on both days.
There was a Columbian woman is the class who spoke, and understood English, although she had difficulty with it. We were told that she was sent home after scoring a 68 on the written test. I understand that this was below passing, but could she have known the answers and just was having trouble with the written English exam? I did not see the instructor spending any extra time with her to assist. Could the instructor have given her an oral exam during one of the 30 minute lunch breaks? Maybe she would have passed. Where in the literature or web site did it say that you must have a command of the English language in order to take the course?