I was thinking about my job, trying to decide whether or not to go back to running a home daycare/preschool and I think I have made my decision. No, I have made my decision. I thought this might be interesting to those of you that don't already know exactly what being a school bus driver involves. So here it is in a nut shell. I'm sure I've left out something but hopefully covered the basics. This is what a school bus driver’s job entails. I know I had no idea until I became one. First thing is to obtain Class B CDL with passenger, school bus and air brake endorsements.
Train (Hands on technical and driving).
Pass the driver’s test. (Driver’s must be able to parallel park to the left and right, drive the offset alley without mishap and dock the bus, all the while maneuvering between strategically placed cones. Driver must perform a complete circle check, in exact order as required by the state and perform proper air brake test. Driver must learn proper procedures of the road, including but not limited to railroad crossings. Pass an on the road driver’s test.) By the way, I drive a forty foot school bus.
The following is how my day unfolds:
4:00 am I wake up (when I wake up on time).
5:00 – 5:15 am I leave my house.
5:45 am (ball-park time) I arrive at the bus yard.
Start my bus (If not running).
In snowy weather – I clean the snow off my bus.
Then a Circle Check/Pre-trip inspection is done. (This is something every driver has to do every time we drive. We are responsible for finding anything that might be wrong with our bus, from under the hood, under the bus itself, all warning devices, tires, inside gauges, emergency exits, seats, floors, doors, windows, simply put – everything on/in the bus) And this must be done no matter the weather conditions.
I fill out the circle check paperwork.
I start my route at the appropriate time.
During the route I am responsible for 70+ children; keeping them safe by enforcing bus rules, which they frequently break, while driving I’m trying to keep my eyes on road more than on the kids.
This is repeated several times per day. So, for roughly 6 hours per day I am responsible for a large group of children, the bus and safety of all.
I also must tolerate any/all school officials/parents concerns/complaints. If there are any I am required to bring them to the attention of my boss, not to discuss them with parents/school officials.
I must complete each year, the states required in-service training hours.
I am responsible for keeping the bus clean (inside and out) and boy did I learn firsthand what slobs some kids can be. (Picture tooth paste spat on the floor for starters, yuk!)
A breeze, right? But you know what? I love my job. I look forward to going to work every day. So I plan on driving the kids to school until I’m forced to retire. And I have my writing, which I also love.