Millions of kids around the world ride a bus to school and all buses should have at least one thing in common: great school bus drivers! If you’re thinking about stepping into a new career, or looking to book some transportation for your school, here’s a few key characteristics that we think make up the DNA of a great school bus driver.
Qualities that make a great school bus driver
Love of Children (and Adults!)
A school bus driver will spend most of their work day surrounded by kids, so it’s pretty important that they enjoy their company! Being a great bus driver means being able to value a wide variety of personality types.
Nothing is more important than the safety of the kids a bus driver is charged with transporting. Not only in driving safe, but also things like keeping kids safe from possible bullies while on the bus or at their stop, keeping them seated and facing forward and even ensuring they cross the street safely before or after riding the bus.
Driving a school bus is much different than driving a car. A great school bus driver will have mastered the differences and drive their bus as though their own kids were in the back. Obeying the rules of the road and knowing how a bus needs to be handled in situations like snowy roads, high traffic times and in sub par lighting conditions really makes the difference.
Is a people person
When your face is the first thing kids see in the morning and their bridge between school and home, it’s important that they are greeted with a warm smile and pleasant attitude. A cranky bus driver will just start kids off on the wrong foot!
Patience with kids
If you ever rode a school bus as a child, no doubt you know that kids can sometimes get a little rowdy on them! A school bus driver that is able to balance driving the bus while making sure the kids aren’t acting out takes quite a bit of patience and skill. A driver that gets frustrated easily is going to have trouble maintaining patience with excitable kids.
A bus drivers’ work day is spent sitting behind the wheel so it’s only natural that enjoying driving is key to being a great bus driver! Drivers often drive more than children, but all kinds of adult groups and teams on school bus charter trips. New adventures are welcomed by drivers that love driving adventures!
Calm under pressure
When you have a couple dozen kids seated behind you and a schedule to keep, things are bound to pop up that might create pressure. Things like bad weather, cranky kids, road rage and poor traffic conditions all require calm responses to ensure maximum safety for everyone involved.
Punctual & good time management
It’s a given that kids have to get to school on time. Not only that, but kids wait at their bus stops for their bus to arrive at a certain time. It’s important for their school bus driver to make it to each stop on time, and especially important that they’re not too early! This all starts with getting to the garage on time to get settled into their bus for the day.
Pride in their job
A great school bus driver feels a great sense of pride in their job. They are the biggest factor in kids getting to and from school safely and will be proud of that fact. A great driver will also go through a significant training program to ensure they understand and embrace the importance of their job.
Being a school bus driver is about more than just picking kids up and driving them to school! All of the qualities above combine to make up the DNA of a great school bus driver. They are all important attributes that give families faith in the ability of the driver to keep their kids safe and on course.