Simply passing the FAA exams to obtain an FAA Certified Flight Instructor Certificate simply means a person is now legal to give flight instruction in certain situations. Having a CFI does not mean that the holder has become a professional flight instructor. Professionalism is an attitude. The proper attitude for a good CFI is to have respect for the profession and those being instructed.
The attitude of an instructor shouts loudly to his or her students. The way one dresses or conducts business with customers can reflect on how the airline hopeful will treat passengers in the airline industry. A CFI who feels he or she does not need to dress in an appropriate manner for students will mostly likely complain about having to wear a company uniform when working for the airlines.
When I was instructing I made sure that I was dressed in a professional manner. I did not wear shorts. I always made sure that my slacks were neat and not wrinkled. The shirts that I wore were neat in appearance as well. I feel the way a person dresses while conducting business is a direct reflection upon the dedication of the person to his or her profession.
Guys, wear shirts and slacks that look neat. I know it gets hot in the summer, but wear something light weight. Gals, I cannot think of a reason in the world to wear a top that reveals cleavage. This type of appearance is highly unprofessional. I do not care what profession a person is in when a woman wears shorts or skirts that are too short and or a revealing top it just yells out that this woman wants some kind of attention. I remember asking a hair dresser to put her sweater on because her top was so revealing. I mean come on, lets have at least a semblance of modesty.
OK, now that everyone has the proper clothes on and is starting to care about their students, remember students are customers. Customers put not just hours in your logbook, but money in your pocket. When a professional businessperson comes into an FBO to learn how to fly that person is not looking for the good ole’ boy network. He or she is looking for a professional who will be respectful and earn the money that is being paid.
Well, there is a great deal more I can say about professionalism, but I will hold off until another time. I just wanted to get a few thoughts out there for those who many be considering being a CFI or looking for one.
Keep your eye on the sky!