A school bus driver’s job is very challenging. Transporting students to and from school is one of great responsibility. The safety and comfort of students are of prime consideration to the school bus drivers.
Like any other job, the interest and dedication to the profession make the school bus driver’s job enjoyable. Driving a school bus can be enjoyable if the driver can relate to children on the bus.
One who has a low tolerance level to kid’s antics and especially high sound levels may not find the job interesting.
Read Also: Why School Bus Drivers Deserve Our Respect
Drivers working for a bus system owned by a school or a school district are generally happier. They drive the same routes every day. They get to know each child on the bus and are able to develop a healthy relationship with them. The drivers also interact with the parents all through the school year on a daily basis.
Whereas a driver working for a contracted school bus company may not find their job enjoyable, the contract companies are more focused on profits and not on children. Drivers are juggled around depending on the decision of the transportation manager each day.
They drive different routes for different schools and hence building a rapport with children or parents become impossible. This clearly makes the drivers unhappy.
Most of the drivers feel that their job is rewarded by each child’s smile every morning. The child is invariably rushed to the bus stop in the mornings by the busy parents who have no time for niceties.
The child is therefore only too happy to see the familiar cheerful welcoming face. Similarly at the end of a tiring school day the child once again sees the school bus driver who is known to him. The child feels secure in the care of the school bus driver.
Utmost dedication and patience is the virtue of a good school bus driver. Affection for children and an ability to mingle with them is certainly of help to manage the students on board the bus.
A pleasant disposition with both students and parents will entail the school bus driver being included in the community.
Drivers term the students as precious cargo. They feel like carrying the future citizens of the country. Hence they are very careful and responsible in handling them.
The relationship with children and their parents leads to the drivers being accepted into their community. The drivers are invited for fetes, carnivals etc hosted by the community. The drivers are even called for college graduation day celebrations.
This inclusiveness raises the self-esteem of the driver. He feels important and in turn takes on himself the task of caring for the children on board the bus. Connecting with community and being surrounded by children on a regular basis keeps the drivers young at heart.
The drivers use their discretion depending on the relationships. If a normally punctual child is running late, the driver might wait for a reasonable time instead of sticking rigidly to his time schedule.
Teachers often change during the school life of a child. But a school bus driver remains the same for the duration of the student’s school life.
The job of a school bus driver is most of the time a part-time job. Drivers who can deal with part-time hours find the job enjoyable. The school bus drivers have a lot of independence.
Drivers can do other jobs during their free time to augment their income. They can attend to their personal needs at home.
The flexibility in their job allows the school bus driver to be happy. School bus drivers who work part-time have flexible schedules as compared to rigid schedules of a full-time job.
They can opt not to work on days they are otherwise engaged. They can take up other work during their idle time. Most drivers enjoy the flexible schedule so that they can mesh together their personal life and professional life seamlessly.
The school bus drivers have the opportunity to do additional work like driving students on field trips, athletic events etc. The schools operate on school year calendars where time off is given for Christmas, summer and spring breaks.
Transporting children to and from school for five days a week is the main job of the school bus driver. Hence they enjoy their weekends and evenings off giving them ample time to spend with their families and friends.
A school bus driver does not have to spend years obtaining a certificate or degree. A school bus driver’s profession would be apt for those who do not wish to spend years studying.
A driver’s license and the special skill training to be a school bus driver will enable him in transporting the young children safely to and from school. He is surrounded by playful children and appreciative parents. He interacts with people in the community.
There are other humane aspects which make the driver’s job enjoyable. The exchange of greetings like good mornings on entering the bus and the good days while being dropped off at the end of the day is an encouragement for the drivers.
The drivers get an insight of the different personalities and their traits. It ranges from the mild mannered, boisterous, polite, considerate, taunting and bullying nature.
The driver witnesses the warm exchanges between children and their parents or grandparents while they are being dropped off at the bus stops. The drivers in the bargain learn to be patient, compassionate and caring.
The school bus driver’s job is repetitive. An early morning start in all weather conditions, checking of the condition of the vehicle daily, memorizing routes and pick up points, tackling traffic are inevitable acts that the driver has to perform day in and out.
The loud noise of chatter and communication of students on the bus, the fights between students, dealing with irate parents and school authorities are other challenges the driver faces. Without a sincere dedication to his duty the driver would not be able to do these tasks.
The remuneration of a school bus driver may not be very high. But the immense satisfaction the driver derives in transporting young scholars to and from school safely makes his job enjoyable.
The work life balance is high. If working part-time hours, the driver finds sufficient time to do time his household duties. He can take up other jobs during his free time if he needs to augment his income.
The driver has to handle plenty of responsibility. The parents and school entrust their children with the driver. His alertness and ability to make the right decision is of paramount importance to the safety of the passengers. Though stressful at times the job of the school bus driver is relaxed in general.
The added benefits of payment during summer duty, additional money on field trips, the holidays and flexible schedules make the job attractive. Helping special needs children makes the job even more worthwhile. Co-worker interaction helps the drivers to learn from each other’s experiences.
The job provides job security. There are plenty vacancies for school bus drivers at all times. Performing the job to the best of one’s ability and remaining extremely professional will ensure that the job is secure.
Being safe, punctual, reliable, responsible and behaving appropriately with the children on the bus are key factors pertaining to retaining a school bus driver’s job.
There isn’t much of career advancement in the school bus driver’s job. Sometimes they are promoted to drive bigger vehicles like coaches or offered trainer positions. The special skills acquired to drive a school bus can be easily taught to other drivers.
The school bus driver sets the tone for the day. The first and last face the child sees during a school day is that of the school bus driver. The driver who enjoys his job and is happy will make the child’s day on the bus a pleasant experience.