CUPE 847, John Allison Elementary K-3 School
Head Custodian and Bus Driver, 30 years
I really love the kids, especially the young ones. With that age group you just never know what they’ll say next! I feel so fortunate that, even though I’ve been doing this job for almost 30 years, I still enjoy it.
Over the years I’ve learned different ways to work with students when they get a little bit rambunctious. I have my older kids sit at the back, with the younger ones up front. The older kids help set an example for good behaviour. Regular kids who are on the bus route for the furthest distance are especially good because they bond with you. Over the years I’ve learned that yelling doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s better for the bus driver to stop the bus if you can, go back, make eye contact and talk to students in a calm voice.
If I could change something to improve the job it would be to have more time to do the work. It seems like the more you do, the more is expected. I wouldn’t mind that as long as there was enough time. We’re spread pretty thin in lots of areas.
As a bus driver, I’ve had special needs children as passengers over the years. We used to have Education Assistants ride with us. I thought it was very unfortunate when they took EAs off of the buses for special needs students. It wasn’t good for the students, or the driver either. Because you sometimes have a lot of kids on the bus, you just can’t be available to help those special needs students while you’re driving.
But all in all, working in K-12 a great job. If you love kids, you just can’t beat it.