In training your drivers to deal with student behavior on the bus, many valuable lessons can be learned from educators. The following ideas relate to how teachers keep students under control. Their insight can be applied to the school bus environment to help drivers deal with their passengers.
1. The bus is a classroom. Drivers should expect the best behavior from students just as teachers expect the best behavior from them in the classroom. Students learn how to act and behave themselves in a class the same way they do on a bus, so the expectations should be the same in both settings.
2. Have a maximum of five simple rules. Don’t make the mistake of having too many rules in an effort to cover everything. Students get confused and are likely to misbehave when they have too many rules to remember.
3. Being effective takes time. You cannot expect immediate results when you are dealing with students. Don’t be afraid to “put the ride aside” for a few minutes. Stop the bus and take time to understand what’s happening and to deal with problematic behavior. Don’t get under way until all student behavior problems are in order.
4. Avoid arguments with students. Good teachers know this rule. Arguing with students gives them what they desire — power and control. Maintain your dignity and allow them to keep theirs. Never criticize their family. Clearly and respectfully state your expectations.
5. When you come to the end of your rope, drop the hammer. Hold all students accountable to the same rules, no matter where they are from or who their parents are.
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