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School Bus Driver Training. Unit B Student Management and Discipline. Objectives. At the end of this session school bus operators will be able to: Describe local policy for appropriate student behavior on the bus Demonstrate essential components of effective driver-student interaction

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school bus driver training
School Bus Driver Training

Unit B

Student Management and Discipline

  • At the end of this session school bus operators will be able to:
    • Describe local policy for appropriate student behavior on the bus
    • Demonstrate essential components of effective driver-student interaction
    • Describe local policy on serious discipline problems
    • Recognize typical behavior patterns for students in different age groups
    • Demonstrate basic concepts of Assertive Discipline
  • School bus drivers are in the ‘people’ business
  • Student behavior is a safety issue
  • School bus drivers are responsible for safety
  • The school principal is ultimately responsible for discipline
school bus driver responsibilities
School Bus Driver Responsibilities
  • School Bus Driver Training Manual contains a list of responsibilities
  • Driver’s responsibilities fit into several categories:
    • Employer (procedures)
    • School district (procedures, regulations)
    • People (students, parents, school personnel)
    • Bus (neat, clean, obvious mechanical issues)
    • Self (attitude, positive image, preparedness)
characteristics of the successful b us driver
Characteristics of the Successful Bus Driver
  • Confident and effective
  • Creates a positive environment for students
  • Has clear rules for students to follow
  • Uses good driving skills
  • Knows and follows the route
  • Provides good customer service
  • Takes pride in personal appearance
  • Keeps a clean bus
  • Knows what makes him/her angry and remaining calm when “buttons” are pushed
  • Does not take student comments personally
some inappropriate driver behaviors
Some Inappropriate Driver Behaviors
  • Being confrontational
  • Being sarcastic
  • Arguing
  • Yelling
  • Using brakes to manage students
student responsibilities
Student Responsibilities
  • Poor student behavior can distract drivers
  • Clear rules must be established by the driver and followed by the students
  • Students and parents must understand that rules contribute to the safety of the bus
  • Students and parents must understand that breaking rules brings consequences
expectations for students
Expectations for students
  • Following all district, school, and bus rules
  • Taking responsibility for their actions
  • Being respectful of other students’ rights
  • Being on time at bus stop locations
  • Following all safety procedures at the bus stop
  • Following all safety procedures on the bus
  • Responding immediately and appropriately to bus driver instructions
some inappropriate student behaviors
Some Inappropriate Student Behaviors
  • Excessive noise
  • Portions of bodies out windows
  • Moving about while the bus is in motion
  • Throwing objects around inside the bus
  • Throwing objects outside the bus
  • Crowding and shoving
  • Pushing, tripping, kicking
some inappropriate student behaviors1
Some Inappropriate Student Behaviors
  • Refusing to share a seat
  • Grabbing the property of others
  • Vulgar language
  • Name calling
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Hitting, fighting
driver student interactions
Driver-Student Interactions
  • General guidelines for interacting with students
  • Remember that “Bus drivers have CLASS”
  • C-L-A-S-S: A student management memory aid
a student management memory aid
A Student Management Memory Aid
    • C – Consistent
    • L – Limits
    • A – Attitude
    • S – Share
    • S - Support
what a driver can do to manage s tudent behavior
What a Driver Can Do to Manage Student Behavior
  • Learn the names of your students
  • Greet students
  • Use different voice levels
  • Be conscious of body language
  • Be conscious of eye language
  • Give positive feedback
  • Be polite
  • Give mature commands
successful t echniques of discipline
Successful Techniques of Discipline
  • My job/your job explanation
  • Teach your students the rules
  • Explain the consequences of misbehaving
  • Give warnings and keep documentation
  • Match the consequence to the behavior and be consistent in both discipline and follow through
  • Give positive rewards for good behavior
teaching the rules on your bus
Teaching the Rules on Your Bus

Students may need to practice something 24 times or more before they reach 80% competency on a skill (Marzano, 1991, Classroom Instruction that Works)



No skill

suggestions for bus rules
Suggestions for Bus Rules
  • Observable and measurable behavior
  • Positively stated
  • No more than 3-5 rules

With thanks to Sprick & Colvin (1992)

applying discipline on the school bus
Applying Discipline on the School Bus
  • Make initial contact by “noticing”
  • “I noticed you did a great job keeping your hands to yourself today. Keep up the good work!”
  • “I noticed you were pushing Jennifer”
  • “I noticed you were keeping to yourself today and looked really unhappy”
ask open ended questions
Ask Open-ended Questions
  • “What’s the problem?” (The student must explain)
  • “What’s the consequence for spitting on other people?” (The student must give an example of the consequence)
quick unthreatening interventions
Quick, Unthreatening Interventions
  • “What is the rule? What are you supposed to do?”
  • “It looks like you have a problem, how could I help you solve it?”
  • “What do you want from me?”
  • “If you could make this situation better, what would you do?”
questions to ask a fter intervening
Questions to Ask After Intervening
  • “What are you doing to make this work?”
  • “Have you thought about how to solve it?”
  • “Is it helping to solve the situation?”
  • “If you continue to do what you’re doing, what will happen?”
  • “What could you do to make this successful?”
serious discipline problems
Serious Discipline Problems
  • Follow school district’s procedures
  • Remove the bus from traffic
  • Be courteous, yet firm
  • Do only what is within your power
  • Never touch a student
  • Document incidents as needed
  • Report serious cases to supervisor or school principal
reporting behavior problems
Reporting Behavior Problems
  • Documenting behavior problems is an important component in discipline procedures
  • Use common language
  • Write reported behaviors that are:
    • Observable – What did it look like / sound like?
    • Measurable – How long? How often?
  • Patterns of behavior will emerge more easily when documentation is accurate and thorough
reporting behavior problems1
Reporting Behavior Problems
  • Details to include in behavior reports:
  • What was happening at the time?
  • What did the student do/say?
  • What did you do as the driver / assistant?
  • How did the student respond to you?
reporting behavior problems2
Reporting Behavior Problems
  • Possible format for documenting and reporting behavior problems

With thanks to Sprick & Colvin (1992)

reporting behavior problems3
Reporting Behavior Problems
  • Example:

With thanks to Sprick & Colvin (1992)

characteristics of student behavior
Characteristics of Student Behavior
  • Kindergarten and elementary (K-5)
  • Middle school (6-8)
  • Secondary school (9-12)
kindergarten and elementary k 5
Kindergarten and Elementary (K-5)
  • Tend to move about
  • Tend to talk when expected to be still
  • Tend to have limited attention spans
  • Tend to have limited memories
  • Tend to care about adult perceptions of them
  • Tend to actively reject those that do not fit in
middle school 6 8
Middle School (6-8)
  • Self-centered
  • More focused on acceptance and popularity among peers
  • Adolescence brings mood swings
  • Test limits of adult authority
  • Aggression in the form of bullying and harassment
  • Conformity in communication and dress develop
  • Exploration of sexual relations begins
  • Delinquent social activities may begin
secondary school 9 12
Secondary School (9-12)
  • Socially self-conscious
  • Romantic relationships emerge
  • Concerned with their dignity
  • Concerned with conformity to group norms
  • Chronic gossips
managing student behavior
Managing Student Behavior
  • Keep discipline private whenever possible
  • Stay professional
  • Set discipline standards
  • Work with school authorities
  • Don’t deal with on-bus problems when loading and unloading
keep discipline private whenever possible
Keep Discipline Private Whenever Possible
  • Individual problem behaviors are best handled individually
  • Avoid showdowns with chronic troublemakers
  • Do not threaten the entire busload for the actions of a few
    • unless the general safety of the bus is threatened
stay professional
Stay Professional
  • Be fair
    • Do not be lenient when “good” students misbehave
    • Do not be less lenient when troublemakers misbehave
  • Never lose your temper
  • Know that children will test your limits
  • Be strict at the beginning of a school year and move to general leniency if appropriate
four steps to follow when g iving directions
Four Steps to Follow When Giving Directions
  • Make a polite statement, “Jerry, please sit down on the seat.”
  • If the student refuses to comply, state your expectations.“Jerry, you’re expected to sit down on the seat.”
  • If the student still refuses to comply, state the consequences. “Jerry, if you do not sit down on your seat, you will have to ride up here in the front seat.”
  • If there is no compliance at this point, ask the student to give an example of the consequence and the positive alternative and let the student make the decision. Break eye contact and allow them to make a choice. “Your choice is to either sit down or ride in the front seat. Which would you like to do?”
interrupting behavior that is just beginning
Interrupting Behavior That is Just Beginning
  • “Are you supposed to be throwing paper on the bus?”

(Get students to consider the consequences of their behavior.)

  • “What happens when you throw paper on the bus?”

(Get students to focus on a change in their behavior.)

  • “So, what’s your plan?”

(“I guess I’ll just ride to school and keep my papers in my backpack.”)

interrupting suspicious behavior t hat just happened
Interrupting Suspicious Behavior That Just Happened
  • You are not sure if this person is guilty, but you are reasonably certain.
  • “What’s your plan?” (“What do you mean, what’s my plan?”)
  • “What’s your plan to stop writing on the seats on the bus?” (“I don’t need a plan.”)
  • “You’re right. But if you continue to write on the seats, you’ll have to follow my plan and ride up here or take time after school to clean the seats.”
controlling group behavior
Controlling Group Behavior
  • When you deal with groups, talk to the person who gives you verbal resistance
  • Remain focused on the behavior and the person who gives you verbal resistance
  • Make a general polite directive
  • Explain the consequence of the behavior to that verbally resistive person
  • Give that person the negative and positive choice, and let him/her make the choice
use statements like these to respond to a verbal attack
Use Statements Like These to Respond to a Verbal Attack:
  • “This is not how you get what you want from me.”
  • “This conversation is not helping. How can we solve the problem?”
  • “I’ll talk to you after you’ve calmed down. We can work this out later.”
  • “When you complain, I only hear how you feel. What do you want?”
  • “ ‘Everyone’s doing it!’ is an opinion. What do you really want?”
broken record method
Broken-record Method
  • If a student is arguing with you or not complying with a direct command
  • Tell the student what you want
  • If the student argues, calmly repeat the command/direction up to 3 times
  • If the student refuses, use a consequence
echoing statements method of stopping arguments
Echoing-Statements Method of Stopping Arguments
  • Repeat the statements of arguing pupils to diffuse conflict.
  • “John took my books.” “Mary says you took her books.”
  • “I did not.” “John says he didn’t take your books.”
  • “Yes, he did. He took my books.” “She says you took her books.”
  • Continue this until the book is returned to its owner.
set discipline standards
Set Discipline Standards
  • Settle problems quickly
  • Settle serious problems when the bus is stopped
  • Seat troublemakers near you
  • Drive smoothly
  • Be firm, fair, impartial, consistent
  • Never lose your temper
  • Treat students as you would like your child treated
work with school authorities
Work With School Authorities
  • Nurture a relationship with school authorities
  • Post a copy of school district rules
  • Follow the school district rules
  • You do not have the power to put a student off the bus – school officials do
don t deal with on bus problems when loading and unloading
Don’t Deal With On-bus Problems When Loading and Unloading
  • Loading and unloading is dangerous
  • All the driver’s attention must be focused on what is happening around the bus
  • If a discipline problem occurs during loading or unloading, wait until loading or unloading is safely completed
assertive discipline
Assertive Discipline
  • Non-assertive discipline
  • Hostile discipline
  • Assertive discipline
  • Assertive school bus drivers
non assertive discipline
Non-assertive Discipline
  • Failure to state your needs
  • State your needs, but fail to back your statements up with action
hostile discipline
Hostile Discipline
  • Stating your needs in negative ways
    • May violate students’ rights
    • May result in fear, causing aggression elsewhere
assertive discipline1
Assertive Discipline
  • State your needs
  • Back those statements up with appropriate actions
  • Have a positive outlook
  • Have confidence in your abilities
  • Balance the rights of all parties involved
assertive school bus drivers
Assertive School Bus Drivers
  • You are the boss of the bus
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say
  • Clearly and firmly tell students how to behave
  • Stay calm – normal tone of voice
  • Have a plan of action for misbehavior
  • Reward good behavior
assertive discipline plan
Assertive Discipline Plan
  • Show the plan to your supervisor
  • Send the plan to parents
  • Introduce the plan to the students
  • Post the plan on the bus
  • Provide consequences immediately
  • Provide consequences consistently
  • Provide consequences in a calm manner
  • Praise students frequently
positive rewards for good behavior
Positive Rewards for Good Behavior
  • Are the most important part of your assertive discipline plan
  • Should be:
    • Something the kids like
    • Be appropriate for age level
    • Never be taken away as punishment
  • Can be for an individual or group
difficult issues
Difficult Issues
  • Gang activity
  • Bullying and harassment on the school bus
  • Suspected child abuse or neglect
gang activity
Gang Activity
  • Gang activity can be found everywhere
  • Gangs are part of their communities
  • Benign forms of gang dress and behavior are imitated by non-gang children, making real gang members difficult to identify
  • Attempting to treat gang members differently will only lead to problems
  • Treat every student with respect
bullying and harassment on the bus
Bullying and Harassment on the Bus
  • Lead by demonstration
  • Expect children to treat each other with respect
  • Assert your need for children to treat each other with respect
  • Treat everyone on the bus with the same respect
  • Document and report incidents
suspected child abuse or neglect
Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect
  • Your School district has policies and procedures for reporting suspected cases of abuse or neglect
  • To report these abuses you need:
    • Name, address, age of child
    • Name, address of custodial parent/guardian
    • Nature and extent of injury
    • Nature and extent of neglect
    • Nature and extent of sexual abuse
    • Evidence of previous injuries
    • Pertinent information supporting reasonable suspicion
  • Law protects person reporting/testifying
practice scenario
Practice Scenario

Mary, a 1st grader, won’t stay seated. She’s usually quiet in the morning, but in the afternoon, she’s wild. I think they give her sugar right before she gets on the bus. She never listens.

As a bus driver, what would you do?

practice scenario1
Practice Scenario
  • Jim, an 8th grader, won’t stay seated. He is a typical middle school boy, and always challenges authority.

As a bus driver, what would you do?

practice scenario2
Practice Scenario
  • Teresa, a 12th grade cheerleader, is excited about tonight’s game, and won’t stay seated.
  • Normally, I don’t even know Teresa is on the bus. She’s always so well behaved.

As a bus driver, what would you do?