I know, I for one, am a bit worried about the day my boys must ride the bus to school. I can’t explain it, but it makes me nervous. When I was teaching we had a lot of behavior problems spill over from the bus into the school. We also had students who had a lot of problems on the bus. Because of this, it makes me worry just what my boys may see or encounter while riding the bus.
I do plan on driving them to and from school while I can, another reason that I stay home. However, when I do go back to teaching, my boys will most likely end up needing to ride the bus. I am hopeful that the bus driver will do what several other bus drivers are now doing to get control and keep control of the students riding the bus.
Many bus drivers are now setting the tone for how things will go from the very first day of school. Bus drivers greet students with a smile and a hello and when all students are on the bus, they begin to explain just what rules are expected from them. Bus drivers will explain why these rules are so important, mostly for the safety of each student who is riding. The bus driver will then explain what will happen to the child should they break a rule. Schools should also follow through with the consequences that are laid out to the child and should be supportive of what the bus driver has for consequences.
Bus drivers are also implementing student helpers for the bus ride. A bus driver will pick a student to help monitor the front of the bus and a student to help monitor the back of the bus. These students will be given small tasks that are important for helping out the bus driver, such as helping younger peers to stay seated, keeping students paired with their belongings, making sure peers are seat belted in and following the rules.
The bus driver typically picks a student helper who may have had behavior problems in the past. This strategy often works wonders for a misbehaving student because it gives him a feeling of responsibility and an important job to do. Something as simple as a student helper can help keep students on the bus behaving.
Driving a bus is a huge responsibility. It isn’t a job that I could ever do. I am hopeful that when my boys are riding the bus, that they have a bus driver who will implement a strategy like the bus drivers you read about above. It may make me a bit less of a nervous mother.