Career Story: School Bus Driver In A Washington Suburb

School Bus Driver In A Washington Suburb

Job Title: School Bus Driver

Type of Company: I work for the public school system in a county in northern Virginia

Education: Pensacola Junior College •• AA, University of West Fl

Previous Experience: I was a stay-at-home mom for twenty years and wanted to get back into the work force.

Job Tasks: I'm a school bus driver for one of the most populous counties in the US. On an ordinary day I arrive at the depot shortly before 6AM to inspect the bus and begin my run. I start with high school students, who I try to get to school by 7. I then make my middle school rounds or do the pick-ups for one of two elementary schools. I average 45 high school students in the morning (somewhat fewer in the afternoon thanks to sports and other after-school activities) and about the same number of middle school kids, but there are nearly half again as many grade schoolers: 65 on an average day. Just imagine having that many kids at your BACK! I end up driving for about 2-3 hours in the morning and another two or three after school.

Bus drivers' are the first and last faces students see every day and the county is adamant, as a consequence, that our appearance and attitude be impeccable. Driving a school bus doesn't sound glamorous and probably looks pretty easy, but when you've got sixty-some children at your back yelling and jumping up and down and you're negotiating heavy traffic in a 50-foot long vehicle, "easy" isn't quite how you'd describe it.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is dealing with the younger kids and getting to know their little quirks.

The worst part is DEFINITELY the early, early mornings. Children are so much fun to laugh with and joke around with but the 5:30AM start time is a bit harsh. The high school kids really just sleep in the morning, so you don't have to talk too much to them.

Job Tips: This is a really great job for a parent or grandparent looking to supplement his income, and you get the same holidays, of course, that the students themselves do (spring break, winter break, summers, etc.) The pay isn't bad, but it isn't good enough either to serve as your sole source of income.

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