School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver

The Bus Driver

12 Years Experience

Southeast, GA

Female, 35

I have been a bus driver since October 2006. I know the inside story, the scoop, the down low dirt of what it takes to be a bus driver, how to handle kids and adults, and how to survive on the "streets" so to speak. I have a blog, feel free to browse it or ask me a question here.

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248 Questions

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Last Answer on November 20, 2017

Best Rated

Why do so many school buses have white tops now? (pic: http://news-press.net/blogs/chalkboard/files/2009/11/School-bus.jpg)

Asked by Sox almost 5 years ago

That is a good question. I actually had to look up the answer myself as I had not remembered what they said in training class. The white top of a school bus is reportedly a measure enacted to help cool the school bus. We do not have air conditioning on buses in my district, and the white tops supposedly keep the heat down inside the bus. Some newer models have tinted windows which also try to keep the heat from entering the bus. Another reason there are white tops, and strobe lights on the top of buses, is to assist with visibility from the air and on the ground.

Do you think that the bullying problem is getting better in the last few years? There seems to be a lot of anti-bullying media campaigns, but is any of it making a difference as far as you can see?

Asked by Tev over 4 years ago

Honestly, if anything, I feel that the bullying problem seems to have gotten worse or at least more apparent.  There are alot of anti-bullying media campaigns out there because there is an increased awareness of the problem.  The issue now is more the bullies who blatantly bully in plain sight.  Bullying can take many forms, some obvious, and some very subtle.  The thing that has to happen in order for the bullying problem to decrease is for the consequence for bullying be something that the bullies actively dislike.  If they don't like the consequence, they will not bully as much.  The problem we have in school is that the consequences really have no effect on students that bully.  For a student who is a good student, rarely gets into trouble, a lunch detention or losing their recess is a big thing and enough of a deterrent to have them avoid getting into trouble because that student's parents are often active within the school and actively take part in their child's education.  If that student faces a consequence for misbehavior at school, it is likely that the same student will face similar consequences at home to show the student that the behavior in question will not be tolerated.  A bully or someone who is constantly in trouble for other reasons, really doesn't care much about the school consequence because when they get home, the parents may be absent or simply not care to follow it up at home.

Thats not to say that there are exceptions to that assumption, but those children who lack discipline at home will invariably be in trouble at school for misbehavior.  Some parents believe it is the school systems job to raise their child to be an upstanding citizen.

Hi, with all due respect I have always wondered why bus drivers appear to be so grouchy. Is it because of the lack of sleep and unruly kids? I've never met the cheery bus driver as I see on movies. Just wondering!

Asked by Strangette over 4 years ago

Sometimes even the most seasoned bus driver isn't always cheerful in the mornings.  I do try to greet my students with a good morning, even if I'm not the most cheerful.  Yes sometimes the behavior does affect my mood, but when you think of bus drivers in movies, they're simply actors, they get paid to be all cheery.  We are doing a job that is often thankless and can be very difficult.

Do you think assigning seats is a good or bad idea?

Asked by jasonsmom over 4 years ago

Personally, I like assigning seats because then each child knows they have a place to sit.  A downside to assigned seats is having random children that do not normally ride the route get on a bus with a pass because they are going home with a friend/cousin/to grandmas.  In my experience as a substitute, the drivers who have assigned seats on their buses tend to have calmer buses overall.  The kids are less likely to act up and the ones that try to are quickly ratted out by other students who enjoy following the rules.  Bus drivers do have the right to assign seats, and if I am on a bus and experiencing problems, I will assign seats to the children the day that I drive.  It can cause problems with parents, but if I know where their kid sits, there is no fighting whether their kid misbehaved because their child sits in the same seat every day.

I saw a school bus that parked perpendicular to the direction I was going to unload kids from the bus. I normally stop when it's parallel on a local street. Could I pass the bus if no kids crossed the direction I was going?

Asked by k.v about 4 years ago

If the bus is 30 feet from the intersection, then yes, you can continue travelling on the perpendicular road, however if the bus is closer than that and is clearly letting kids disembark from the bus, its better to be safe and stop than sorry because you ran over a child and were not looking.  Children are unpredictable and at any point can go a direction one least expects, including darting back across the street to the bus for a forgotten item.

Do you get annoyed when overly-talkative kids sit at the front of the bus, and ask you questions?

Asked by rootinpootin over 4 years ago

Hiyas Rootin!

I don't mind when talkitive children sit closer to the front and ask me questions.  Sometimes, it can get a bit annoying especially when I'm trying to pay attention to driving in stressful situations, but usually a simple, "Please be quiet for a few minutes, kiddo." usually helps and then the kid does not feel like I am ignoring them.  I have many kids ask me if they can open the manual door when we are at a stop.  I usually tell them that I will let them open the door at their stops.  Some of the older students like to sit up front and chat with me and often will tell me things that are annoying them or upsetting them and ask me for advice.

this question deals with the cameras installed on newer buses. Do the cameras still work even with the bus turned off? Do they still record?

Asked by RealBuesch27 about 4 years ago

It varies from state to state, but in my district, the cameras are designed to keep running approximately 10 minutes after the bus has been turned off.  This is for safety reasons for the driver and for the kids.  It also provides enough time for the bus driver to walk the bus/sweep the bus at the end of the route.  This also is proof that the driver is doing their job by walking the bus and prevents the driver from getting in a compromising situation should a student be found on the bus after the route and the bus has been shut off.