One of the most valuable lessons was one I learned on my first day as a bus driver.
"Go Slow... Eventually, they all get off."
Sometimes I have absolutely NO CLUE where I'm going. Kinda bad considering I'm the driver! I can't tell you how many times I have to rely on the children to tell me the route, the coaches to tell me how to get to the fields, and the teachers to tell me how to get to the museums. Most of the time, I am able to get a general idea of where we are going prior to leaving on trips or driving bus routes, but many times, I fake it.
Yes, I fake it. I pretend like I know what route I'm on when I'm driving a bus route, I pretend like I know how to get there when driving a trip, and I pretend that I know each and every child's parent or legal guardian especially when they are causing trouble. I go everywhere with Blind Confidence. It enables me to set aside my worries and just go with the flow. I don't concern myself with extra problems and simply "let it ride."
I have too much else to worry about than figuring out exactly where the stop is, or what time we'll be back from a trip. I don't worry about the child on my bus nearly as much as the PEOPLE outside my bus. Don't get me wrong, I worry about the kids too, but so many drivers are distracted with cell phones, texting, and other things that they often don't "SEE" the big yellow bus with flashing lights that cannot stop on a dime.
Pull out in front of me and cut me off when I'm traveling fast? I can't stop. Failure to maintain YOUR lane? I can't help that I'm in my lane and making my turn as wide as possible. Slam on your brakes for that cute little dog? This bus cannot stop as quick as your little car, and we have upwards of 60 precious lives on board.
All I ask other drivers to do is to be more aware of whats around them. Think before you run that flashing stop sign on the bus. The life you spare may just be your own kid.
Deep in Thought,
The Bus Driver