Hi, I'm Jim and I drive a 72 passenger school bus (see pic) I've been driving for almost 20 years.
I started driving when I was laid off from the hospital I worked at. It was going to be a tempory job till I could find something better.... LOL I got my licence on my first try. (thought it was easy) and filled in for a lady that had broke her foot. When she came back (4 weeks) I started driving activity runs. The next school year (Sept 89) I started driving my own run. The run was 55 mins. long, picking up all students (K-Sr) droping off the Elem and continuing on to the high school. I drove back country roads most of the time. The kids where suprisingly good. The first Christmas was so amazing... Most of my kids gave me something for chistmas (cookies, candy ,gift cards and lots of other stuff) I vowed I'd give them something from then on and I have for each holiday. I started giving a small pcs of candy. and did this for about 6 years. Then I moved from that contractor to another. (long story) This school dist has 3 runs, High S, Middle S, & Elem S. I now drive about 2 hours each morn & afternoon (The pay is better but longer hours) This school dist has many kids with allergies so no more candy of snacks. I now give pencils and something small {non-ediable}. People ask me how I can stand the kids and I just smile and say "they give me very little trouble at all". I don't know if what I do is the key , but the very first day I give my little "speach' at each school. I tell them just what i exspect from each of them and will not tolerate anything else. it seams to work. I have had a few kids over the years who want to challenge the rules, but you write them up and they settle right down. The HS kids are quiet in the morning (half sleep) the MS kids are catching up on news and the ES kids are just jabbering away. It's the afternoon run that is more "crazy" The HS kids are excited about sports, dates, etc. so are more active but not bad. the MS kids are now the wound-up kids and do tend to get out of hand so I do have to settle them down more. The ES kids are about the same as mornings except after a school party then they are more wound-up. And maybe the BEST part of driving is EVERY DAY IS DIFFERANT.

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Comment by Tony Deifell on November 20, 2008 at 10:47pm
Hi Jim, great to hear your stories from the bus!

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