I recently spent some time at our district bus garage. Being a small district, we don’t have all that many bus routes/drivers. If you ever walk into a bus garage, the first thing you will notice is many of them have very strong personalities. These are not people that you want to mess with or take lightly. They will talk louder than you, with more energy than you and are very determined that you hear their thoughts and opinions.
Similar to teachers, they will rant and rave about the kids on their bus. They talk about how one student did this, another won’t listen, another is standing up all the time. On and on about how these kids behave on the bus. But what is amazing is just as fast as they start complaining about the kids, they will switch and begin telling you about their brothers and sisters, who they are related to, what is going on in their families both good and bad. You will see a look in the driver’s eye of real caring for these kids. They get attached to them and build relationships with them in truly special ways.
Now teachers, principals, para-pros etc. all build relationships as well with students, but one driver said it best to me. She said try teaching your class with your back to them the whole time. They just don’t have their back to them, they are driving a huge vehicle as well. All this while obviously getting to know them as people. This is an amazing skill. Just another example of how not everyone can be in education…only the really special ones.