What are the qualities of a successful school bus driver?
Driving a school bus or van takes a special kind of person who likes children, is comfortable dealing with parents and others, is calm under pressure, and has very good driving skills.
How long does it take to complete training and start working as a school bus or van driver?
The process of becoming a school bus or van driver requires about four weeks including interviewing, lessons, training, and testing.
What would my responsibilities be?
As a school bus or van driver, you are responsible for transporting students to and from school and school activities safely and on time. You are required to ensure students’ safety while boarding and exiting buses or vans and crossing streets.
What if a student is hurt, or misbehaves, on my bus or van?
In these rare incidents, you may be called on to provide First-Aid to students if needed, as well as to conduct behaviour management and/or to complete incident reports.
How to manage student behaviour
Ideally, managing or controlling student behaviour on the school bus is a team effort involving the driver, principal and parents. The goals are to ensure a safe ride to and from school and to help students develop appropriate behaviour over the long haul. New drivers will receive training on how to best manage student behaviour and will have the opportunity to attend safety meetings.
We can influence a student’s behaviour by how we respond to it. As a driver, you set the tone for your bus much the same way that teachers set the tone for their classrooms.
Here are some strategies:
- Greet every student boarding your bus every day.
- Get to know students’ names as soon as possible.
- Set an example of courtesy and friendliness.
What would OSTA do to help if there was an issue?
Students are expected to behave on the school vehicle as they would in their school or classroom – Riding on a school bus or small vehicle is a privilege – not a right after all. Whenever disorderly conduct exists on school vehicles and/or at stop locations, the school Principal, in consultation with OSTA, will ensure compliance through a three-strike policy. As a last resort, Improper conduct on school vehicles may result in the withdrawal of transportation privileges.
Where do you pick up your bus?
Each School Bus Operator has a main bus yard located in the area they service. Some larger Operators have multiple yards for convenience. If a park-out is unavailable (see below), drivers are expected to pick up and drop off their bus or school purpose vehicle at the designated bus yard after every shift. When applying, we recommend choosing an Operator that is convenient for you based on location and access.
Where can you park a bus?
Some Operators offer park-outs for drivers. A park-out allows drivers to take their bus or school purpose vehicle home with them. This can be beneficial for some drivers if the bus yard is far from the drivers’ home. Please ask the Operator you are applying to work for about their park out options. Operators have also made arrangements to park their vehicles temporarily at schools, shopping centre lots and other public lots.