Safety is one of the most crucial aspects of school transportation. School buses are specifically designed to transport students safely to and from school.
In addition to the vehicle, the driver is part of school bus safety. It starts with hiring qualified drivers and providing them with the required orientation and training about traffic regulations and dealing with buses safely. School districts should let the drivers know and understand their responsibility in safely transporting the students to and from school.
Aside from their primary duties, drivers play an essential role in ensuring safety on the school bus. They are responsible for the student’s conduct and behavior, and the school bus, in many ways, is the extension of school.
It’s not surprising that disciplining the students is one of the significant issues that drivers face on the school bus, the same thing that teachers face in the classroom. The school bus is a different environment for the students. They may talk loudly, sing, play pranks, litter, and shout inside the school bus. Children with limited attention spans, learning issues, and physical or mental disabilities may be victims of school bus bullying.
That’s why it cannot be stressed enough how important safety is for school buses. And this is what school bus drivers should teach the students on board. They must let the kids know they are also responsible for their own safety and the safety of their fellow students.
You’re probably facing the same challenges if you’re driving a school bus. You also have probably racked your brains for a way to present the same subject in exciting ways that will grab the students’ attention and stick to their memory. But they will require some effort, organization, and a little ingenuity on your part.
The following tips should aid the drivers while introducing school bus safety to the students on board:
Conduct mock drills.
Mock drills help the students prepare for the danger in school transportation.
School bus drivers can conduct mock drills to instill students’ awareness about school bus safety. The drivers can explain the proper procedures to be understood and followed by the students to evacuate from the bus during an emergency safely. They should teach the students how to exit the bus from the rear door safely.
Make sure that the students listen carefully to your instructions during an emergency. These mock drills will only become successful when there is full cooperation and participation from the students, their parents, and the school administration.
Distribute leaflets and notices.
Distributing informative leaflets and notices with eye-catching graphics about school bus safety can quickly grab the attention of your young riders. Such flyers, brochures, and notices can influence the kids to follow safety tips.
Encourage the use of gaming apps related to school bus safety.
We now live in an era of smartphones and mobile apps. These youngsters will undoubtedly be more interested in gaming apps than the usual boring lessons. Thus, it’s wise to encourage students to use gaming apps that teach school bus safety. These gaming apps will help these kids familiarize themselves with different safety protocols.
Think out of the box.
Children are generally fickle creatures, so you have to devise fun and memorable ways to teach school bus safety to students. Launching a puppet show or staging a fantasy play with the overriding theme of school bus safety will capture the student’s attention and imagination. The combination of different teaching techniques (using recognizable characters and felt boards with colorful felt pieces and training cards, for instance) and universal use of safety terms will inspire the students to learn the bus safety rules quickly. Encouraging audience participation from the students will help them better understand the bus safety rules.
Use signs or indications.
Keeping signs or indications in the right places will be very useful as it will attract the students’ attention. These signs can provide them with proper warnings about dangers. In addition, these signs help students to get prepared during an emergency.
Managing school bus safety is indeed a team effort that doesn’t only involve school bus drivers and students but also teachers, parents, and school authorities. Introducing the importance of bus safety to students – some through fun and unique ways – is crucial to maintaining a safe environment in and around the school bus.
PA school bus drivers can help students learn about more than school bus safety. School bus drivers can play a vital role in the lives of the students they transport. If you would like to drive a school bus in Pennsylvania, see the positions available at School Bus Hero.