It takes a special type of person to drive a school bus. Not only are you driving a vehicle that is typically 8 feet wide, 40 feet long, and weighs over 20,000 pounds (the typical car is 5 feet wide and weighs between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds), but you are also a teacher of sorts. School bus drivers all agree that you have to love children and understand that they are learning and make mistakes. You have to be consistent, be a good listener, show compassion, reward good behavior, and teach them to turn their bad behavior into something positive. Having a good rapport with the students and the parents make things run so much more smoothly.
You typically get up at 5:00 am to get ready for your day. A pre-trip inspection is done on the school bus. Mother Nature is not always kind. You drive in wind, fog, rain, heat and cold. Sometimes you have mechanical problems you have to deal with on the road while the bus full of students is waiting. You get hugged, sneezed on, high-fived, hit with back packs, and spit at. Sometimes the student is late and you have to wait. Some days all goes as smooth as glass. Other drivers you encounter can be courteous and let you go in front and then there is the driver that pulls out in front of you so he won’t have to follow. What is most upsetting is for a driver to disregard the stop arm and put your passengers in harm’s way.
Every day is the same routine – but it’s good to have a routine that your passengers can count on. Although you have a great responsibility, you don’t get paid a lot for it. You just have to love it !!