Friday, December 31, 2004
Thursday, December 23, 2004
I had a trip this morning...it's what's called a drop and return. In our school district we transport the park district's day care program kids for their activities. Today is their offical Christmas party. They are all meeting at one of the local schools. I got in this morning and the other driver that had a trip too said his bus started after 3 tries. It's 0 here and although we plug in our buses, it doesn't always mean they will start. Mine started right up...even though it's not my own bus..mine is very old, built in 1994, the buses they use for trips are the newer ones. 62 fired right up and has great heat...which is better for the passengers...the driver is always warm...but the heat isn't always so great in the back of the bus. B is the normal driver of 62 and needless to say he didn't do all his post trip duties...sure his bus was fueled, plugged in, trash dumped, but it was a mess! Sucker sticks, wrapping paper, chocolate snowmen all over the floor. So I got to clean it up...and I have to write him up...I hate doing that, but you gotta do what you gotta do...
I got the kids to their destination all safe and sound...it was only 30 minutes from pick up to drop off, but we are allowed pretrip pay... and I did have to sweep up so I got about 1 and 1/4 hours in...BUT when I got back, parked the bus there was anti freeze pouring out of the bus...I am lucky because being a mechinacs daughter I look for drips and and puddles like I am supposed to...but this was a fountain. Hopefully it will be fixed when I get back to get the kids at 2:30, if not my boss told me to take his bus...nice...then I have to do another pretrip...oh well. I always say I am not in a hurry I get paid whether I work or not...one of the great benefits of being a union paid employee.
AND I LOVE MY JOB! Driving is the best...especially when you look at that little face that is so excited to go celebrate this wonderful holiday season! And happily says, "thank you bus driver"!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Yesterday was the day when all good bus drivers receive their rewards...that and the last day of school!
Little sweet faced children run to the bus with gifts of thanks to their favorite bus drivers...
Even the older kids wished me a Merry Christmas
Now is the benefit to a job well done
A much need break ... nearly 2 full weeks of relaxing at home
I will be doing one small trip for a day care
And will be helping the office with new addresses on Monday December 27th
But for most of the holiday will be off duty
Sunday, December 19, 2004
(This page was written BY a School Bus Driver, ABOUT School Bus Drivers and FOR School Bus Drivers.
There are heroes in our land today that never receive any recognition.
Some of these are a child's first acquaintance with education.
Now a teacher might be the first one who comes to our mind,
But I speak of the bus driver for which the kids wait in line.
For a moment, put yourself in the bus driver's shoes,
And I'm sure you will find that it's a job you might not want to choose.
Just think what it would be like to baby sit for sixty kids or better
And remember you must chauffeur this bus load of kids regardless of the weather.
I must admit, to be in front of a classroom with 20-30 kids wouldn't be a picnic,
But to drive 60 kids over icy roads would set my nerves on edge and make my stomach sick.
A school bus driver is like a postman and must go regardless of rain, snow, gloom and darkest of night
But no postman ever had to have 60 kids, clean up their mess, or break up a fight.
A child can have a bad day at school without any warning,
But can be forgotten when a bus driver says, "Have a good evening, I'll see you in the morning"
Ask any student, what heroes of their never received any fame,
And I'll bet a bus driver will be among those that they name.
This poem was written by David Arnold, a custodian in Brownstown, Illinois, 75 miles east of St. Louis.
Dave is past president of the Brownstown Education Support Association, an active IEA/NEA leader, and a published poet.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
I decided to start a new blog...one that is much more fun filled and good natured. I need some excitement in my otherwise "normal" life so I am going to blog about my job...whoopee you say?? well with the holiday break coming up I need something to do right???
The bus in the wreath is called a R.E. stands for Rear Engine. Rear engine buses have the engine in the rear of the bus. The front tires on the bus are set back behind the service door. This makes for some tricky turns especially when turning right. R.E.'s have more seating capacity and a lot of drivers prefer driving them. The R.E. bus was the first bus I ever drove and on day 2 of training my trainer took me out on a narrow, winding country road. I was very nervous and as I was going around a curve I was worried about another driver coming the opposite direction...needless to say I didn't hear my trainer say,"sign, sign, sign" and then crunch. I scratched the sign on the side of the bus. Trainer S. laughed very hard, I didn't, but there was very little damage to her bus only a scratch. The county police officer laughed, and pushed the sign back up....
After any accident or incident...even minor 911 is called and supervisors are dispatched. Pictures of the damage are taken.
Needless to say after getting the "feel" of the accident on Day 2 of training made me that much more aware of my surroundings and just how careful and safe I must be, everyday, every trip.