If you have ever worked in an elementary school, you know that for many students the transition from the bus ride to the classroom can be difficult. The bus is often unsupervised and unsafe. Although the drivers try their best to maintain order on their bus, they are most concerned with driving carefully and getting children to school safe and sound. Because of this unstructured environment, students often get off the bus feeling unsettled and not prepared to learn.
We remember reading about a school bus driver in West St. Paul named Dennis Stricker who discovered not only how to provide a safe ride, but how to keep his passengers (students) engaged by playing a trivia game with them. It was reported that the students who ride Stricker’s bus arrive at school excited and ready to learn. It sets the tone for the students' day.
If all students arrived at school ready to learn like those on Mr. Sticker’s bus, student achievement would certainly rise. While we are constantly looking at new ways to improve student achievement, it might behoove us to take a look at how we might begin the students’ day not when they enter the school, but when they board the bus.