Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dear Parent Who Rolled His Eyes At Me

Warning: Rant below. Read at your own Risk!

Dear Impatient Parent,

I'm sorry your children didn't get home until 4:06 pm today. I'm sorry that I was cautious and drove safely out of concern for YOUR children. I'm sorry that the bus I drove today was not fast enough for you. I'm sorry I couldn't get your children home earlier than 4:06 pm. I'm sorry that I don't know the bus route well enough because the regular driver changes the route path often. I'm sorry if I had to deal with constant behavior problems because I am a substitute driver. I'm sorry that the other children on the bus cause delays because precious seconds are wasted when they say good bye or ANOTHER concerned parent stops to talk to me briefly. I'm sorry we had a delay leaving the school on time because of traffic patterns and concerns.

I'm sorry the bus is so packed that I am forced to make two runs just so we can fit all the children on the route on the bus to get home. I'm sorry that my being late by a few minutes has inconvenienced you and forced you to stand at the bus stop for your children a few extra minutes. So excuse me when you roll your eyes and look at your watch and sigh disrespectfully and disdainfully in my direction and when I apologize to your face for the delays, you simply turn away and walk toward your house sighing loudly and glaring at me because I am a safe cautious driver who does not race to get from point A to point B, instead I choose to play it safe for your children and the safety of OTHER peoples children. You are NOT the only parent in the world!


The Bus Driver

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just a Quick Update

I haven't forgotten about the blog world. As planned, I went and saw Nemo On Ice on November 6. It was a spectacular show which I will detail in a future blog. Be on the look out for new and exciting links as I re-vamp my blogroll and add new links over the next 4 weeks. I am presently going through a personal situation which is taking up most of my time, so bear with me.


The Bus Driver

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Question: Proper Loading and Unloading

A while back, I invited readers to submit their questions to me via my email Well today, we have the first of many questions.

Aren't all students, including those in wheelchairs supposed to be ready for pickup and not sitting inside the house waiting for the bus to come? Also those red lights? Aren't they only supposed to go on when the students are actually boarding the bus or unloading the bus? and not while the bus is just sitting there waiting for the student(s) to get to come out of the house and get to the end of the driveway?

Extremely frustrated from NY

Dear Extremely Frustrated,

The general rule of thumb is that all able students should be out at a bus stop 5 to 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled pick-up time. This means that students who ride the regular education buses should be ready and waiting for the bus to get them. The only exception to this rule is in inclement weather where a child may wait in a garage or at the door ready to dash (run or walk quickly) out to the bus when it pulls up.

As for wheelchair students and special education students, these students typically get door-to-door service from the local bus company and usually a bus will pull into the driveway of the student who needs services. These buses are typically smaller than a 40-foot bus. However, I have seen buses that are the size of a regular education bus, but are equipped with a wheelchair lift. A lot of special education students need far more supervision than is given at a traditional bus stop, therefore it does take a little more time to load and unload these students, usually 5-10 minutes, due to their special needs.

The flashing yellow and red lights should be activated anytime a bus is stopped on a roadway for the purpose of loading and unloading students. This is for the safety of all motorists and students standing at the stop. Typical times for any given bus stop vary from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on circumstances. If you feel a bus driver is taking an exceptionally long time at a stop because a child is not ready at the stop, you can call the local bus garage for your area and report the situation. Otherwise, I encourage you to be patient, the child may have forgotten something and had to run back to the house to get it, or there could be other extenuating circumstances that would prolong a wait at a stop.

We understand that you are just as busy as we are and need to get places just like we do, but we do appreciate your understanding. We do our best not to hold up traffic on main roads so as not to impede the flow of traffic, but unfortunately it does happen occasionally.

Activating The Lights,

The Bus Driver

Calling all Trivia Buffs!

A fellow bus driver has started a trivia contest for each of her schools on her route. She is having trouble coming up with questions that are appropriate for each age group. The age groups on the bus range from pre-k to high school. The age group splits are as follows - pre-k thru 2nd grade, 3rd-5th grade, 6-8th grade, and 9th -12th grade. I invite my readers to submit their trivia questions along with an answer to, or simply leave a comment tagged to this post. Please also designate the intended age group for the question.

The two current questions we've had for the kids are:

Kindergarten thru 5th grade for this one -
Question: Name the biggest state EAST of the Mississippi. Answer: Georgia


Middle School (6-8)
Question: Make at least 4 comparisons between John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln.

JFK and Lincoln were both assassinated by men with three names. (Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth)

JFK died in a Ford, Lincoln died in Ford's Theater.

etc etc etc.

Questioningly Yours,

The Bus Driver

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This was sent to me by my mother, who received it in an email from her Chiropractor.

Halloween is a joyous occasion filled with adventure, excitement, ghouls and goblins, as well as the ingestion of sugary sweets and candy.

While most will agree occasionally snacking on small amounts of these treats is acceptable, excessive amounts of Kit Kats and peanut butter cups may become more readily available this time of year leading to over indulgence.

Such foods with a high glycemic index (i.e.: candy/soda) can have a dramatic affect on immunity. In fact, there is enough sugar in one 12oz. can of soda to lower the body’s immune response by 60% for up to 9 hours.

At a time of year when our immune systems are already taxed with the stress of daily life and lack of sunlight, sugar can certainly weaken our body’s defense system as well. Additional calories not burned off are easily stored as fat and with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner this can start us off in a down turn of our health.

To combat against sugary sweets haunting our household our family is visited by “The Great Pumpkin” on Halloween night. When the kids come home from “Trick or Treating” we all sit on the family room floor and sort through the treats. The kids are allowed to keep a half dozen of their favorites and the rest go back in the bag. They leave the bag on the floor before they go to bed. That night, while the children are sleeping, “The Great Pumpkin” takes the bag of candy and properly disposes of the contents (after a couple of the M&M’s and Reese’s have been removed of course). In turn, “The Great Pumpkin” leaves a gift, such as a book, Lego’s, videogames and maybe a piece of fruit. The kids have always enjoyed waking up the next morning to a wrapped gift.

The intent of creating “The Great Pumpkin” visits was another way of instilling concepts of wellness in our children, to make healthy choices that can last a lifetime.

Hope you all had a safe Halloween!

The Bus Driver