Riding the school bus is a fun and enriching experience for children of all ages. It teaches kids responsibility, helps them become more independent, and gives them an opportunity to make friends and just be kids for 20 minutes before and after school. It comes as no surprise, however, that when you throw a bunch of kids into one confined space, they can sometimes get a little rowdy.
While children should be able to enjoy their time on the bus, behavior that is too rambunctious can distract the driver and jeopardize the safety of everyone on board. If drivers in your school bus fleet are complaining of rebellious or unruly behavior, here are a few tips to help get students under control!
Defer some discipline power to the drivers.
If misbehavior is a significant and persistent problem on bus routes for certain schools or districts, the first step is for the bus drivers or fleet manager to touch base with the appropriate school leaders. Ask for their support in giving bus drivers a certain level of authority for disciplining kids who don’t follow bus rules.
Immediate consequences, such as being written up or assigned to a seat near the driver, will be more effective than going through a long administrative process. Delegating discipline measures to the drivers will also help keep consequences more consistent, as they will obviously be more aware of poor behavior than school authority figures will.
Establish a passenger code of conduct.
Speaking of following the rules, it’s important that all student passengers know the rules before they are punished for breaking them. Outline school bus rules and expected behaviors in detail, including consequences that will be faced upon violation. Write down and distribute this code of conduct to students, parents, and teachers, and display them clearly on the buses themselves. This will ensure that expectations are clear and help prevent miscommunications among different parties about what is acceptable bus behavior.
Use positive reinforcement.
Particularly for younger kids, incentivizing good behavior will be more effective than punishing bad behavior. Design a reward system in which drivers can award prizes or recognition when kids are following the rules. This could be a written compliment to bring home to their parents or perhaps a coupon that can be cashed in for a little treat or a homework pass from a teacher. Drivers should coordinate with teachers to establish and brainstorm reward options, just to ensure everyone is on the same page.
A positive reinforcement approach will also create a more comfortable atmosphere on the bus, as well as help drivers and students build good relationships and develop a mutual respect.
Be consistent about consequences.
If you want to get student passengers under control for the long-term, misbehavior must be handled the same way for every student, every time. This is something to stress among your drivers, as it will seem unfair to kids who hear about their friend doing the same thing as them on the bus but suffering no consequences. If kids think they might be able to get away with something, they’re more likely to try it. Show them they will not be allowed to toe that line.
Consider a video surveillance system.
Installing video cameras on school buses is a quick way to encourage better student behavior. Having a concrete record of any incidents will also protect both drivers and students in the event of any false accusations or disputes about what happened. Plus, reviewing this surveillance regularly will help drivers and school officials determine whether or not their discipline system is working. Just make sure parents and students know they are being recorded and understand that by getting on the bus they are consenting to it.
A positive school bus experience starts with quality vehicles that keep drivers and students safe and comfortable during their ride. You’ll find all of the first-rate new and used school buses you need for your fleet at Las Vegas Bus Sales.
Contact our team today for more information about any of the buses in our inventory!