School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver

The Bus Driver

10 Years Experience

Southeast, GA

Female, 34

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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238 Questions

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Last Answer on September 20, 2017

Best Rated

Is it illegal to do break check while kids are on the school bus in Ga.

Asked by Tracy about 4 years ago

Technically speaking, it is dangerous to brake check any vehicle because it will cause wear and tear on the vehicle.  In addition, brake checking while one has children on board can put them in danger and cause unintended injuries.  Sometimes I will demonstrate to children how fast a bus CAN stop because it helps them remember to stay in their seats, but over all I don't usually perform "brake checks".

On a legal standpoint, it is NOT illegal to do so, just unsafe.

what do you do if a student has a bathroom emergency on the bus

Asked by jan about 4 years ago

For bathroom emergencies, it can be a tricky situation.  In my district, it is left up to the bus driver's discretion.  Usually if a route is short - the kids will be home within 1 hour - I usually tell the children to wait until they get home.  Though there have been times where a route is longer, or the child is little (pre-k) in which case I'll stop at the bus shop, or at a school and get a teacher or older student (of same gender of child) to escort the child to the bathroom.  

Do bus driver's have to let kids get on the bus to go to school in the morning even if the kid doesn't ride that bus ?

Asked by Haleigh over 4 years ago

Good question Haleigh!

That is really a question that is only answered depending on the district your school is in.  Typically speaking though, if the bus services the school, then yes, we normally let children ride in the mornings.  We know that sometimes kids end up staying with grandma, or over at a friends house, and usually try to accommodate that situation.  If the bus has to go out of district to deliver you to school, then we do have a right to refuse bus service for that reason.  Often if a bus driver is faced with an unknown face at a bus stop, either the child has a note written by a parent to present to the bus driver, or the bus driver will radio the bus shop to get clearance.  Most of the time we are able to help you out.

i have left my video game on my school bus today when we had a sub bus driver, i have called my schools and spoke to the secretary and was told that the sub had not reported finding it' i was told that there would be a new sub tomorow. what do i do?

Asked by funlunde over 4 years ago

Well first, you did a good thing by calling the secretary of your school.  The thing I would recommend would be calling the bus shop secretary and see if it has been turned in there.  If the bus is the same, then you can look in the seat you were sitting in, and hopefully the game will still be there.  However, a likely outcome is that someone else picked up your video game and has not turned it in.  I'm sad to say that many students are not honest and you have probably lost the game. I hope you are able to recover it and get it back.  Good luck!

I was living near Hampton beach in NH, one day there was construction on a bridge. It took 4 hours to get home on the bus (usually took 30 mins). The driver could have gone an alternative way (I know for a fact she was allowed to), but didn't. Why?

Asked by Axlrose13 about 4 years ago

I can't say for sure the reason why the driver did not detour, however, maybe she was unfamiliar with the area, or perhaps she had been told not to deviate from the route.  Sometimes there is no space for a bus to turn and detour and sometimes the detour areas only accommodate cars, and not buses.

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 4 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.

I have a few newbie driver questions for you - What items do you keep on your bus (kleenex, hand sanitizer etc.)? What do you tell your students at the start of the year to get off on the right foot? What are your best tips? Thanks!

Asked by Mightynice about 4 years ago

This is a good question, and definitely one I will probably co-post on my blog.  Things I recommend for bus drivers to have on hand:

Kleenex - You can never have too many Kleenex.  Kids are always asking for a tissue.

Paper towels - Not to be confused with Kleenex, paper towels are always handy for cleaning up spills and other larger messes such as when rain comes in the leaky roof of a bus.

Hand sanitizer - more for yourself than the kids, but some drivers keep it handy for the kids as well.

Baby wipes - If you prefer baby wipes to hand sanitizer, these can serve double duty as cleansing items for the seats and surrounding areas.

Cleaning supplies - most bus barns will provide cleaning supplies for a driver to maintain general cleanliness of their bus.  This includes windex, lysol, and other antibacterial agents for cleaning the bus.

Puke powder - yes the name sounds awful but it is essential for that child that you will eventually have that vomits everywhere.

Trashcans and trash bags - again self explanatory, but if you promote a clean bus, most of the trash the children will make will find its way into the can.

Broom - A strong and sturdy broom to reach those hard to get areas, brooms also aid in killing random bugs and other pests that find their way into your bus.

Log book/folder - Your bus barn is going to ask you to handle paperwork, it is handy to have a folder to use to keep all paperwork in.  It also helps to keep a current copy of your CPR certification on hand.

Bus roster - This is majorly important if you are in an accident or if a child needs to contact their parents for whatever reason.  You need to know who is on your bus at any given time.  This goes for bus passes too - I usually keep those for about 2 weeks, then toss them.  Things in a bus roster should include the following:  Name of the student, Grade/School, Address, Emergency and Parent numbers, and any allergies or special conditions one should be aware about.  Your bus barn should provide a form for children and parents to fill out and return to you.

Route description - make sure a route description is handy on your bus for those inevitable days that you are going to be sick.  A route description is a lifesaver for sub drivers who do not know your kids.  Also, make sure a roster is attached to each route description so that the sub driver can have it available immediately in the case of an emergency.

Bus seating chart - It may be a good idea for you to assign your passengers seats.  The seat assignments are also helpful for identifying problem passengers. 

Clearly posted rules - these can help students realize what rules they are supposed to follow on the bus.  I recommend going over the rules with each group of kids that enter your bus.

Citation/write-up folder - make sure you have a folder full of blank citation/write-up sheets.  Explain to students that if they do not follow the rules they are going to get a verbal warning from you, you will talk to their parents, and then if they persist, you will write them up and turn them into the school.  Explain that there are consequences for receiving a write-up such as a change in assigned seat to one of the front seats (or a least desireable location).  I know of one bus driver that had all of her children sitting up front and left the back of the bus as no-mans-land.  There were at least 6 seats between the last group of students and the very back of the bus.  A misbehaving child was sent to sit in the last seat by himself, which wasn't viewed as a reward as there was noone around him to help him disobey.

Offer little treats and incentives - Maybe you could develop a positive behavior system on your bus.  Some bus drivers use gum as an incentive, or lollypops.  If the children behave (for the most part) all week, they get a treat on Fridays.  You may want to have them work towards a pizza party or an icecream treat.  When I drove for an after school program, I brought things like cupcakes, and on the last day of after school, I brought ice pops since it was so hot out.  The kids will appreciate these little treats.