Since this year there has seen so many changes to our routes, I now do three runs per route, which means that I drive for three different schools morning and afternoon. I now actually drive high school and then two different elementaries. So, in the last week each run has produced something blog worthy.
On my high school route, in the afternoon, I had about seven high school boys in the back of the bus. They range in age from 15 to 17 years old. As a am driving down the road, I see all of them standing on their seats squealing like old ladies like a mouse just ran across the floor. I pull over and ask them what is going on.
One of the boys replies, “ There is a wasp!” My response was, “Are you kidding me? You are acting like a bunch of sissy girls! Someone take off your shoe and kill the thing!”
So, the bravest one of the bunch did just that...with a good hard whack we were on our way back down the road. I did tell them that was totally going into my next blog, and they ask me to put their names in. Of course I can’t; but they know who they are!
Just yesterday, I pulled up to a first grader's stop. There is usually a family member waiting for him, but not that day. He sits up as I come to a stop and yells, “This is the best day of my life! I get to go home by myself!" As he gets off and crosses in front of the school bus, he keeps repeating this with his hands up like Rocky Balboa! I spoke to the boy's dad this morning and told him about it. He said that he heard about it all night. How cute!
On my last run of the day, I have another group of elementary kids that only takes me five minutes from the school to the first stop and seven minutes for the second stop. As I get within sight of the first stop, one of my kindergartens states, “I have to go to the bathroom!” I tell him we are so close to his stop, so please hold it. As I round the corner not a minute later, he says, “I had an accident!” Next thing I know, there are students all telling me about “ the pee” It is on the floor. I is on the seat; it is running down the aisle.
I get to the last second and final stop, open the door and ask, “ Are you mom? Well he had an accident.” The mom’s reply: “ I am so sorry. I quess you won’t forget his name.” This is so true, since this is the first "accident" I have ever had in the 11 years that I have been driving school bus.
Now, I mentioned change in the above headline because this year there has been so many changes in our transportation department. We have the new bell times, which give us all new routes. These routes seem to keep changing. The office will add or take away stops, change stop times and change drivers on routes. We even changed bus loading zones at one school.
Oh, yes, the loading zone. I almost forgot to talk about that.
The high school that I drive for was remodeled years ago before I came along, and when it was they forgot to put in a bus loading zone. So, they had to create a loading lane in the upper lot where there was just enough room along a J-shaped sidewalk. They then made a curb on the other side to keep regular cars out.
The system over the years has been that six buses at a time to go in there, which means we have three waves that go through and pick up students. The second week of school, the fourth bus in line died. In other words it would not start. I was the fifth bus, and we park really close to the bus in front of us. So, here we all are stuck in this loading lane with buses on the road waiting to get in and parents fighting to pick up their kids next to us. I had the driver behind me back up, then I backed up and pulled into the parent pickup lane and got the you know what out of dodge. One of my high school students said after I did this, “I have never been more proud that you are my bus driver than I am right now."
I'm not sure why. Just another day in the life as a school bus driver!
Christe Smith is a school bus driver for the Olympia School District in Olympia, Wash. She has been enjoying driving a bus for the past 10 years and has experienced many events that she has decided to share with the rest of the STN readers. You may also view her blog at Life as a School Bus Driver.