The school bus has arrived at school and the students pile on for their journey home, the teachers are exhausted from their days teaching and the parents are waiting for their kids to turn up at home.
Now it is the bus driver’s turn to take control and manage the kids out of school and parental guidance. There are now great software programs on the market that can really assist the driver in this sort of situation.
If the bus driver is not fortunate enough to have such a system then how does he ensure his young passengers behave? The American Federation of Teachers have set some guidelines to assist drivers of school buses.
The following strategies can help a driver and control discipline on the bus:
- Do not threaten the whole bus for the transgressions of a few.
- Individual behaviour problems that do not affect the rest of the passengers are best handled privately.
- Do not threaten students or in any circumstances use force.
When things get out of hand and there is a serious discipline problem a driver is advised to:
- Do not try to handle the situation yourself. Take it up with the school authorities and if it is an emergency phone them.
- Stop the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and stand up and make your views known.
- Change the offenders seat, possibly nearer to you.
- If you are close to the school then return.
A good tip when students are embarking at the school is to stand and face them, it will help maintain control and sets a good tone for the journey.
Things to Avoid
There are some things that a driver should never do whilst transporting students on a bus:
- Never throw a student off the bus.
- Never lose your temper and start shouting.
- Never you physical force.
- Under no circumstances start swearing and using expletives.
Bus Driver’s Union Advice
Bus driver’s have a great resource to turn to on problems with school children and discipline. Their union offers some great advice on all sorts of situations and problem areas, and one is the transportation of school students.
Their advice normally is rational and will offer paths to follow that a driver can protect himself, such as:
- Keeping copies of all notifications and referrals made to the school.
- Make notes of all problem encounters with either students or parents.
- Always contact the union and work with them on taking training on managing student behaviour.
Why Do You Need Rules
Most young students understanding that riding on the school bus is a privilege and there are ways to behave and rules to follow.
Rules set a tone of what is and what is not acceptable behaviour on a bus, and that the rules are in place for safety. These school bus rules are often exactly the same rules that the students adhere to in school anyway.
These rules are normally set down on day one, and reviewed throughout the year on a periodic basis. These rules should be simplistic and easy to follow, and by the same token they should be easy to enforce. Enforcement should be consistent and equitable and never change.
The golden rule for school bus drivers is to expect safe behavior and accept nothing less.