School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver

The Bus Driver

15 Years Experience

South, ..

Female, 37

I have been a bus driver since late 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 used to have a blog, feel free to browse it or ask me a question here.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +

Share:

Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

969 Questions

Share:

Last Answer on February 07, 2021

Best Rated

Do you think special needs children should be on "short buses?" Seems pretty alienating.

Asked by Timmy two times about 9 years ago

Good question. The fact of the matter is, "short buses" as you put them have special factory options installed. Often seatbelts, wheelchair tie downs, and wheelchair lifts. We have to make sure that all students, regardless of disability, have an equal opportunity to attend school. I don't know the reason why these buses are often shorter than regular education buses, however, I have a theory. Alot of times, these buses have to be small enough to be able to enter a persons driveway in order to pick up a student in need. A larger regular education bus is not designed for tight turns and pick up door to door. Students have to meet us at the street/central location to board the buses in those cases. Often special education buses have a driver and an aide on the bus to handle any problem that may come up, such as a student having a seizure or an autistic child having issues with noise. These buses are also often quieter than regular education buses which help a student who is autistic as they usually cannot handle loud noise like everyone else. Hope this helps.

Which passengers are worse: kids on school buses, or adults on municipal buses?

Asked by Danielle about 9 years ago

Each job has its selection of characters. Most of the time, a majority of the behavior problems I experience comes from the kids, but we do have adults who can be quite "special" in their behavior as well. I believe that the reason why adults tend to be better behaved is because they actually WANT to ride the bus, or HAVE to ride the bus to get to work, the grocery store, the movies, wherever.

I'd like to know if there are any school bus drivers who might be teachers. Also how does the bus driver handle students who behave badly on the bus? Is he or she allowed to discipline anyone?

Asked by Donny about 8 years ago

Some school bus drivers may be retired teachers.  Generally speaking, no, teachers are not school bus drivers, but paraprofessionals may choose to work as bus drivers to supplement their income too.   As for handling badly behaved students, our course of action can include many steps.  First we will typically try to manage the behavior on the bus by changing the students seat or assigning seats.  Then we try to contact the parents of the student in order to try to get the situation resolved.  If that fails then we write the students up and turn them into the schools.  From there, the administrators of the school can choose to further discipline the student by taking away bus riding privilege.  We are not allowed to physically discipline students as far as laying a hand on a student though.

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 almost 8 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.

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

Asked by jasonsmom over 8 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.

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 8 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.

I'm a SPED bus driver in VA and I'm concerned because my school division often pulls my bus monitor when they are short handed. What can I do about it, they said this is a courtsey to me not a requirement.

Asked by lizzy1125 about 8 years ago

Being shorthanded is a tough subject as many bus shops everywhere are short drivers.  Typically though whether or not SPED buses have monitors on them is based by state.  I would research the laws in Virginia and see if not having a monitor is illegal on your bus.  If it is, then I would make efforts to report the activity to the appropriate authorities.  If SPED buses are not required to have monitors on them, then my suggestion is to do the best you can with the resources you have.