How School Bus Drivers Can Encourage Reading And Studying On The Route

school bus drivers

school bus driversLike many people, we were charmed by the recent Motherly article making the rounds about an Arkansas bus driver encouraging reading on her bus. If you missed it, a bus driver and special ed teacher named Julie Callison keeps a bucket full of books on her bus - encouraging students to take a few whenever they get on board. It was such a small thing, but it reminded us how school bus drivers can be educators as well.

Your school district still has some influence over students right up until the moment they disembark from the bus. Why not make use of that time? Inspired by Ms. Callison, here are a few ideas for encouraging school bus scholarship.

Ways School Bus Drivers Can Encourage Students to Read While On board

1. Start With the "Bucket of Books"

One of the brilliant parts of Ms. Callison's plan is that any school district could do the same thing. Simply fill up a bucket - or a box - with books appropriate for a variety of ages, and put them on the bus. Try putting a different bucket on each of your school buses, then rotating them every week or two so that students always have access to more reading materials.

2. Encourage Reading Out Loud

Some students have difficulty reading on the bus due to the movement and vibration - but this creates great opportunities for cooperative reading. Identify the stronger readers on each bus, and encourage them to read books out loud during the journey. This can be particularly effective when older riders are reading to the younger students.

As a side benefit, if most of the students are focused on a reader, they are less likely to misbehave.

3. Offer Small Benefits for Reading or Studying on the Bus

If your bus has a video camera system installed, it's easy to identify which of the student riders are paying attention to books rather than acting out. Encourage this with some incentives! They don't need to be major, just minor treats or perhaps small privileges like a few minutes' extra recess time.

When it comes to on board bus discipline, the carrot is usually better than the stick.

4. Consider WiFi Access

This is a more expensive solution, but it's now entirely possible to offer WiFi on school buses. Coupled with a strong Internet filtering system, you could enable students to do reading, homework, or more while on their rides. After all, they've all got cell phones - so encourage productive use of their devices.

Click to Schedule Demo

Does your district have any clever ways of encouraging study while on board a bus? Let people know in the comments below!