A big chunk of my first 6,000 hours was spent instructing ... possibly 5,000 hours too many. Yeah, it takes patience, but it's fun and spiced with occasional adrenaline moments, like when somebody is trying to kill you. It's also a little like logging one hour 6,000 times. When I found myself nodding off on final approach with pre-solo students (yes, really) I knew it was time to quit. I'm not impressed when I hear guys brag about never having instructed, as if they were clever enough to get real flying jobs without enduring the apprenticeship and drudgery of teaching. Congratulations, guys, but I think flight instructing is the best, if not the only, way to truly learn the art of flying an airplane.