Thursday, September 3, 2009


It's been a tiring week and I'm plum worn out. I started back driving school bus on a new route which, in the long run, will be wonderful. It's very close to my house and is about one-half to one-third of my last year's route, for the same pay.

However, I am facing new challenges. I'm adjusting to driving a bigger bus and having over 100 kids ride my bus (I have to make two laps around my neighbourhood). Many of these kids are immigrants, and a few do not speak any English. They live in a huge apartment complex across the street from my house, along with about 90 percent of the kids I drive.

And all of them, including the kids that rode the bus last year, BELIEVE THE SEATS ARE TRAMPOLINES AND THE AISLES ARE THERE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF RUNNING LAPS IN.

Evidently, the wonderful gentleman who drove this route for many, many years wanted the children to have fun. He basically closed his eyes and ears and let them do pretty much anything (except eat - maybe because he didn't like cleaning up messes??). Most of them have no clue how to behave on a bus. And the older, seasoned kids confirmed that "Bob didn't make us do that" on a few occasions.

I now have my work cut out for me. For the sake of my job (I believe anyway) and their safety, THEY WILL LEARN. Or die trying.

Today I brought along a huge tubful of suckers and used bribery positive reinforcement. It actually broke my heart slightly when I had to let some of the kids off the bus without their sucker because they didn't remember to obey the rules. But I had no choice and encouraged them that next time I was quite sure they would remember.

Tell me, whatever am I going to do when my suckers run out? Since I haven't yet made my first million, I need to come up with other ways to encourage obedience.

I think I'm up for the challenge. It's been a whole four days, after all.


Carlee said...

Use stickers!! They're cheaper, better for your teeth,and stay around longer as a reminder of how "hard" you worked for your reward! Good luck!

Darla said...

Thanks, Carlee! I'm sure the littler ones would love them.

Cherylg said...

You could try a chart with their name on it and put checks when they follow the rules and an X when not following. When they get so many X's, by the end of the month, they loose out on something from the treasure chest at the end of the month. You can get all kinds of nic nacs at the looney/thrift store for the treasure chest for boy/girls.

Darla said...

Another excellent idea, Cheryl! I'll have to wait a bit until I know everybody's name - I'm kinda struggling with that right now - but in time that might work. Thanks.