Holiday Time: 4 Ways to Show Appreciation for School Bus Drivers

school bus drivers

school bus drivers-5All too often, being a bus driver can feel like a thankless job. School bus drivers have to work genuinely inconvenient hours, and spend most of their time on the job getting yelled at by their passengers, district parents, or both. Not to mention the stress of being directly responsible for the lives of dozens of children every day!

It's easy for drivers to feel unappreciated, or even burn out and leave the job entirely. Often, however, all it takes is some small gestures to help them feel acknowledged and appreciated. The holidays are a perfect time for this, so let's look at some ways of improving your drivers' morale.

Four Great Ways to Show Your School Bus Drivers Some Love

1. Make sure they're invited to all district parties and gatherings.

This one is really more of a "bare minimum effort" matter, but some districts do treat their drivers like second-class employees - and it shows in their turnover rates. Your drivers should be invited to all the same holiday affairs as all the other district employees, even if they work via an outsourced company.

2. Use social media to recognize your drivers.

Social media is a great method to show appreciation for school bus drivers because it will also be seen by parents and students. Take the opportunity to highlight the best drivers on your team, and encourage people around the district to appreciate the sacrifices that bus drivers have to make.

3. Organize a "Bus Driver Appreciation Day" at school.

Are your students ever reminded of what a tough job bus driving can be? An official Appreciation Day can be a great way of teaching this lesson while allowing your students to see and interact with drivers outside of their usual daily bus routine. Or, encourage students to write thank-you notes to their favorite drivers. This can be a good activity for days near Thanksgiving or Holiday break when students aren't doing much.

4. Raffles for gifts.

Of course, it would be nice if your district can afford to get gifts for all your drivers, even if it's just something like travel coffee mugs or school jackets. However, if your bus staff is too large for that to be viable, a raffle for gifts/prizes can be the next best thing.

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A happy bus driver is usually going to be a safe bus driver! How does your district show appreciation for your drivers?