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Faculty Profile: Darrell Bush

Fall 2010 | Archives

Automotive Technology Instructor

Darrell Bush

Vital Stats

Who: Darrell Bush

Academic Program: Automotive Technology Career Academy

Classes Taught: Automotive fundamentals with high school juniors and seniors

Class Mascot: The American Buffalo, chosen for its adaptability and flexibility

Classroom Philosophy: "I'd rather do 12 tasks well than 40 poorly." "A skill is mastered before moving on."


By Demanding Excellence, Instructor Molds Successful Young Technicians

Darrell Bush's classroom rules are straightforward. Focus on your work. Be courteous. Show respect. And don't be late—ten seconds tardy and consider yourself absent.

For the past six years, Bush has worked with high school juniors and seniors in MCC's Automotive Technology Career Academy program in which students split their days between their high school and an MCC location. The program prepares students to become future automotive technicians at dealerships and shops in Nebraska. Bush's role as their instructor, he says, is part leader, part mentor, part father figure, part technical expert. Reflecting on his 30 years as an MCC teacher, he has countless success stories.

"In 30 years, I've got it down to a science," says Bush on his classroom approach, which involves 90 percent hands-on laboratory work in addition to emphasis on soft skills like dependability, teamwork, self-confidence and responsibility.

Bush never thought he would become a teacher when a friend recommended him for a part-time instructor job in 1979. Now 64, he says he still has more years in him before retiring. He likes helping young people grow and improve their lives. He enjoys seeing them succeed.

Bush demands a lot from his students. As he helps them become technicians, he hopes he is also helping them bridge the gap from adolescence to adulthood. "I make learning fun. But they also know there's responsibility." By the end of their two years with Bush, the students have logged countless hours of classroom experience, a nine-month part-time internship at a local dealership and a summer practicum. As they progress, Bush shifts his role from being a disciplinarian and a teacher to a mentor and a fellow technician—and finally, a friend.

Darrell's Auto Tips:

  • Taking care of your car in today's world can be compared to previous generations taking care of their horses. Don't expect it to live very long when you beat it to death.
  • Pay attention to the little things about your car. It is telling you how it feels. Turn off the radio once in awhile and listen.
  • Performing proper maintenance will help maintain your vehicle's resale value as well as keep your car running properly. Regular maintenance is typically cheaper than making car payments.
  • Keep your car cleaned inside and out! The quality of the work performed by a technician is directly related to the cleanliness of your car.
  • Know the basics of car care and ask lots of questions. Unqualified technicians do not like to explain because they do not understand the problems or solutions.
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