Most of us should be at that point of the year where we know the students on our buses and have done our best to learn their names. One thing for sure is we know the students that give us the most problems on our buses, and I hope we have been able to address these problems in a professional manner.
As a driver, it is very important that we do this in order to have a safe, smooth bus ride to and from school. One thing I do want to remind all drivers is that it's important to not just assume that these "known" student troublemakers are causing all the problems. You will find yourself focusing on these students, and you might not see the issues that other students might be causing. We still need to see the big picture and make sure that we address these issues as they arise. We won't catch all of the issues but if you do the best you can, you will find that you will get the support you need from parents, schools and your student management department.
Talking with other student management supervisors, we have noticed a growing trend in disciplinary write-ups. We will get a citation report from a driver on one of these repeat offenders and, after doing a little investigating, we will see that said student was not the only one involved but they are the only one that received a citation for the behavior. It is very important that all steps have been followed when deciding if a citation is needed for a student.
My first step in these (guidelines to a write up) is to determine if have I given the student a firm verbal warning. Have I tried to assign a seat for the student? And, finally, have I made personal contact with a parent or guardian of the student asking for their help in the matter? If we each follow our own company policies and guidelines, we will ensure that it will not back fire on us and we are able to change the behavior for the better.
These steps are to make sure that a parent is not caught off guard when their student receives a write up or a citation for bad behavior. If we have asked for help from the parents in the past, we will find them a bit more understanding when and if a Write up does come. When I first started in student management, I found most of the complaints coming in about the students getting write ups consisted of: "This is the first I have heard about it." And, "Why didn't the driver call me when this behavior started?" That is a very good question, and it's very hard to answer because there is not any good answer.
Since we have taught these (steps to a write up), we have found the number of citations has dropped greatly. It is a much more peaceful conversation when the parents are not surprised when I have to call and let them know that their student is receiving a citation or a bus suspension. Most students that get that first citation don't usually get another one. There are some exceptions to this. Like most people, no plan is fool proof.
I wish you all the best in the coming year and remember you really are Hauling the future of our Country so let's all set a good example for them to follow. Remember, We are the best drivers in the world!