The last 3 days before vacation were much better. The high school had finals the last three days of the week, so I only ended up hauling 1-3 out of my normal 15-20 group of highschoolers home on the bus. My second group was only my 4th and 5th graders (the kids who ask incessant questions). I do 2 and a half runs in the afternoon to get all my kids home. Because they were exceptionally good for each of the 3 days, I allowed them to talk quietly once we got to the high school.
My 4th and 5th graders are usually expected to stay quiet because of the unnecessary squabbles that my kids typically get into while on the bus. They tend to take neighborhood issues and bring them on the bus creating tension and problems. The problems create unnecessary stress on me so I usually head it off at the beginning and tell them not to bring the issues on the bus and as such, they are not allowed to talk on the bus. They are pretty much a good group of kids, but they DO push buttons and they know exactly which buttons to push. I fear that because I loosened up slightly that it will backfire on me. I understand that they were excited about Christmas.
I have discovered that my highschoolers are my main problem and issue. They act like thugs and are very disrespectful. The last 3 days before vacation have opened my eyes to this especially since I did not have most of them on the bus. The bus had a different atmosphere. I was able to relax a little bit and instead of buying my kids anything for Christmas, I played Christmas music for my younger group of kids and then with my 4th and 5th graders I let them choose their seats (they have assigned seats) and played Christmas music.
The morning route has become interesting though since I have a new alternative student who just started riding. Alternative Girl is a piece of work and has a “cousin” on the bus that is one of my 4th and 5th graders. Well Alternative Girl insisted on talking and breaking the rules, so I asked her to come up front and sit down, she pitched a hissy fit and insisted on getting off at the wrong school and mouthed off to an administrator and mouthed off to me claiming I was only picking on her and not handling the other kids on the bus and that I was lying. She tried to get my other kids involved in it but I was so proud of them when they just stayed quiet and didn’t give her the reaction she was looking for. She told me to let her off the bus “before it gets ugly.” Yeah, I just LOVE threats from students. Her behavior is similar to the behavior of the kids I used to work with 4 years ago and it nearly triggered me into a panic attack. I’ll explain it in another blog. I kept my cool though and just let it roll off my shoulders. The rest of the bus was quiet and once she got off, her “cousin” started in on it and I told her to hush her mouth. She started to smart off at me and I stopped her in her tracks. The cousin was sleeping through most of it until Alternative Girl woke her up. As some of my 4th and 5th graders got off, I kept notes on who I kept having to tell to be quiet and told each of those they were getting a write up. I’ll turn them in after break because I couldn’t get the tape pulled until that afternoon. The sad thing is, if Alternative Girl had just done what I had asked in the first place, she wouldn’t even be getting a write up. The reason that her and her cousin are getting a write up is not for talking and even breaking the rules, but for the disrespect they displayed when riding the bus.
Glad its Christmas Break,
The Bus Driver