School Bus Industry: Front-line Heroes
published on February 10, 2021 by Sonia Mastros
We recently saw a wonderful article from School Transportation News (STN) highlighting some of the most extraordinary things done by school bus drivers in the past year. The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak challenged service workers around the world to step up, but few outside of the healthcare industry have done more than bus drivers.
School bus drivers are already in a truly unenviable position: At a time when social distancing is prioritized, they're voluntarily boxing themselves into a tightly enclosed space full of people who could all potentially be infected, day after day. Merely driving that bus every day requires a lot of courage! However, many drivers have truly gone above and beyond, helping children or residents in their homes, or even saving lives.
Your drivers deserve recognition, within the school and within the community. If you haven't taken the time to recognize their efforts, the beginning of the new semester is a perfect time to do so!
The Importance of Showing Appreciation for Your Bus Drivers During COVID-19
If nothing else, make sure you take time out periodically to acknowledge your bus drivers' efforts when talking to them. Don't take their efforts for granted! They're putting their health on the line for the sake of their school and their community, and they don't have to do that. If they know their efforts are recognized and appreciated, it's going to be very good for morale.
Plus, to be honest, there's no shortage of job opportunities right now for people with CDLs. Keeping morale up is important!
Have you had any drivers truly go above and beyond, like those in the STN article? If so, their actions need public recognition! Make sure to talk about their actions on your website, newsletter, or whatever other public-facing communications you put out. This won't just improve their own job satisfaction; it helps ensure that the community at large understands and appreciates their efforts.
You might even consider some larger-scale event, such as a ceremony or dinner for your drivers - at least once health issues permit gatherings again. If this seems likely, be sure to tell your drivers about it now, so they have something to look forward to after it's safe to congregate again.
Also, along with verbal support, be sure to do what you can to improve their jobs and safety. Make sure they always have access to plenty of PPE, hand sanitizer, and other tools to protect themselves and the kids. Your school buses will always have a high chance of contamination, so make sure you're doing what you can to keep them safe.
Has your district had any heroic school bus drivers go above and beyond? Please share your inspirational stories in the comments below!