School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Bus Driver's PrayerAccording to an email I received yesterday afternoon it was School Bus Driver Appreciation Day on October 21.

Who knew we had our very own day?  I don’t think it was the two girls yesterday who were engaging in a small scale cat fight.  It wasn’t the person who made a left hand turn in front of me this afternoon either.  It certainly wasn’t the guy who passed me when there was someone coming the other way and I had to break so he could get in so we wouldn’t all be killed.

The Grand Erie School Boards knew though.  They went so far as to give each of the drivers in the district a $5 Tim Horton’s gift card which is a generous gesture.  Thanks to them.  For the most part the teachers who help us get kids off an on at schools are very kind to us too.  It’s nice working with them.

Most of the parents we work with are also very appreciative of what we do.   Occasionally they get a little cranky with us if we are late because it throws their day off but we all understand.

The kids, in general are pretty good too.  We won’t count the ones I had on the bus this afternoon when I took over someone else’s run.  Mostly they are just being kids and I’d rather have a little noise than have them all glued to their phones.  At least when they are laughing or arguing they are learning some interaction skills.

I’m sure most of the general public also appreciate what we do however some of them could use a ride along once.  Then they would understand how hard it is to navigate on a strange route with kids yelling different directions.  They would also be a little more careful and courteous on the road. Every day I am astounded at the chances drivers take just to get around or ahead of a school bus.  I don’t think there is a day that someone doesn’t make some foolish move they would never otherwise take just because they don’t want to have to wait for 30 seconds when we stop to pick up or let off a few children.

We have rules we live by and most of us work very hard to make sure we stick to those rules.  That is because the rules are about safety for us and our passengers.  We often go the extra mile to keep other motorists from having to stop for us if we can.  Some drivers will even pull over and let people pass.

In the office and shop we have a devoted and supportive team of mechanics and dispatchers who work hard every minute to ensure our safety and to help us when things go wrong.  Bus_20Drivers_original

The next time you are tempted to take an unnecessary chance to avoid being behind a school bus or have one make you stop in the oncoming lane remember that you may have kids or grand-kids, nieces or nephews, neighbours or friends who have entrusted the lives of their children to that big yellow bus and it’s driver.

Someone asked me a telling question one time.  They said, “If you had a Rolls Royce or a an old rust bucket to drive which one would you be more careful with?”

Of course I said, “I’d be more careful with the Rolls.”

When I said that the person asked, “Why would you be more careful with one than the other?  You are riding in both.  Isn’t your life what is important?”

Slow down, leave earlier, be careful and give a bus driver a wave to let them know you appreciate what they do.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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