This week began my first week of bus duty for the year. Bus duty is required by most teachers in most schools.
Bus duty is the duty when a teacher must look after students who ride the bus either in the mornings, the afternoons, or both. At my school, teachers only have bus duty in the mornings. The students stay in their assigned rooms until the buses leave in the afternoons.
Bus duty at my school begins at 7:15. There are two teachers on duty each day. One teacher is assigned to the gym where students go if they are not eating breakfast that morning. The other teacher is in the cafeteria watching the children while they eat breakfast.
Bus duty is not a major undertaking but it can be stressful at times. The cafeteria duty is usually more hectic than the gym. There are more children in the cafeteria and the students usually get rowdy after they have finished eating and have a few moments of dead time.
Another problem with bus duty is that all students are involved. There are many students that eat breakfast in the mornings and one teacher cannot possibly know them all. I am not even sure what grade some of the children are in. At times it can be hard to correct the students’ behaviors because you do not know their names or their personalities.
The duty is also hard for the teachers and the children because the consistency cannot exist. The teachers change by the week. Although there are common practices carried out by each teacher, people all perceive things differently. Some teachers allow the students to get louder than other teachers allow them to get.
Yesterday, I began dismissing the students with grade eight. The students are used to being dismissed by kindergarten first. However because I teach kindergarten, I wanted my students to go back as I did so they would not be in the room by themselves. The students immediately began telling me how I was dismissing them wrong.
I think that it is a good idea for the schools to hold training on bus duty and give details of what is expected during the time. This way all teachers will have some common grounds and new teachers will know what to expect.