I have been a school bus driver for almost 12 years. It is the best job I've ever had! This year I decided to accept a route different from the normal K-12 routes of all the previous years. This year I transport two groups of pre-schoolers (2-1/2 to 5) and one group of special needs children 7 to 12 years old. These children are my teachers in more important ways than I had anticipated.
Dominique, 7, is a Downs Syndrome child and our greatest challenge. No local private nursery school will agree to take her. Only the public school system has the resources to accept and relate to her. She is tough and self-willed! At first I did not like her and dreaded her presence on the bus. She seemed traumatized and schizophrenic, often acting out some dramatic scenario that she obviously had recently experienced. I was worried about child abuse at home. Gradually, however, I came to understand the dynamic of her family and appreciate not only what a challenge she was to them, but also the blessing that she brings of always being in the moment. What you see is what you get. She is a force of nature!
|Isabella aka Nancy Drew|
Below is a group of pre-schoolers. They have to be tied down in what is called "child restraints". These are not as onerous as the harness apparatus necessary for Elijah and Dominique, but necessary for any student under kindergarten age.
|Tyler, Jacob and Donielle waiting to exit|
Saraphina and mom