If you have ever gave thought to doing this challenging job or considered being able to partake in a job that is based on the same schedule as your children, I can share with you my past experiences. There is no more challenging yet unrewarding job working with children.
Contact the School District in which you are interested in and apply if you are interested in this type of job so you can share your childrenâ€™s schedule, want to make some really good money and you do love driving. I have done this very job for over 16 years and just retired 4 years ago. Believe me; I did not retire early because of the kids. . . I still miss them terribly. Traffic is quite the challenging part of this whole job. As with any other job, there is always the challenge of your fellow workers and unfortunately there are always a select few if give the whole company of bus drivers a bad name. I would like to think I did my job well and I loved what I did. When someone suggested I drive a bus when my kids were all in school, I pretty much thought they were crazy, â€œDrive 72 Noisy Screaming Kids in a huge Bus?â€ Then I thought, â€œOK, Iâ€™ll ask to be hired just to drive a small bus onlyâ€. Doesnâ€™t work that way! Driving a School Bus, as with any other job, works on seniority and you be driving any bus, any route as a standby driver when first hired. I remember how excited I was when I got my first route and my own bus. It was a stick at that time but it was mine every day. There is such a shortage of people needed for this unrecognized and unappreciated job.
Apply for driving a bus through the school district. Of course, it will be necessary that you are a good safe driver. They frown upon drivers with a bad driving record. You will be applying for a CDL Drivers License and will need to complete some special driving lessons such as driving with passengers and the air brake endorsement necessary. Most buses these days do have the air brakes and, unlike when I started, are now all automatic transmissions. When I started driving I had to learn stick shift. I will never forget the frustration and that bus number (and my trainer I am sure still remembers me)! I thought she was going to quit after me. But she didnâ€™t. If I could do it, you can to. Just remember, though, to be responsible with your CDL license and be proud of it, there is zero tolerance with alcohol and most districts conduct random drug tests.
Give yourself a lot of credit as you step onto that bus for your training. One of the first things my trainer/instructor stressed with me as a trainee in the bus, while learning stick shift without killing the bus, was how much multi-tasking was involved. She would tell me her life story (as a child might be talking to the driver), and tell me I not only had to listened to stories but had to read route sheets for the route involved, watch traffic, constantly check your mirrors (for the other kids on the bus and traffic around you), verbally reprimand children when necessary, besides putting on your overhead lights when getting ready to pick up a student or students.
Drive proudly and consider what you really want to do each year, whether it is big bus, small bus, or even wheel chair. At least the last 8 years I drove a bus, I transported special needs children. Special needs could be behavior problem children that have difficulty riding a large bus, physical and wheelchair students. Most times these buses require the need of a bus aide but not always . . . it depends on the students. I drove wheelchair for many years, some without an assistant. Those were some of the most wonderful happy children I ever met and miss the most. If this is something you would like to do, you need to love children, love driving, the school schedule and great patience and tolerance that are necessary to be the best bus driver you can. After all, without bus drivers, schools would be pretty empty since more than half the students are bussed.
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