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Bus monitors are responsible for assisting children with getting on and off of the bus safely. They must also make sure that children are in their assigned seats, if applicable. They must make sure that children get off of the bus at the correct stops and that they are being released to the proper guardians.
The duties of a bus monitor include making sure that children remain safely seated while the bus is in motion, maintaining order on the bus, understanding and following written and oral instructions, following basic principles of early childhood development and establishing good relationships with the children, the bus driver, the parents and other staff. They must also make sure that there aren’t any children left behind after the bus route is completed and pick up any trash left behind on the buses.
The skills required to become a bus monitor consist of active listening skills, instructing skills, speaking skills, and oral expression skills. Bus monitors should be able to give full attention to what children, parents or other staff are saying. They should be able to teach children how to do things, like put their seat belts on or sit back and follow procedures. Speaking skills come into play when communicating with children, the bus driver, parents or other staff. Bus monitors have to be able to convey information effectively. Bus monitors should also be able to communicate information that others understand which will be easier with oral expression skills. Bus monitors should also possess social perceptiveness, problem sensitivity, speech clarity and inductive reasoning skills. They need to be able to speak clearly, tell when something is wrong, be aware of others’ reactions and understand why they react the way that they do. Being able to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions is of utmost important when caring for children.
Bus monitors should have knowledge of the English language, public safety and security policies and procedures, psychology, and personal service. Assessing the needs of children and others around them is important for a bus monitor. Having knowledge of human behavior and performance is imperative in dealing with children and their parents, as well as other staff. Being able to safely and securely carry out safety procedures when it comes to children is the most important thing to consider as a bus monitor. They should have knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures and strategies.
Bus monitors have hours and a work schedule that are determined on an annual basis. They may have to deal with loud and unruly children and harsh weather conditions when helping children on and off the bus. Bus monitors usually work part-time and sometimes on a seasonal basis, as they only work when school is in session. They usually are off on the holidays.
As of 2010, the U.S. national average annual salary of a school bus monitor is $26,699, according to CBSalary.com.
Shanea Patterson has been freelance writing professionally since 2006. Her writing interests include travel writing, occupational writing and fiction. She has been published in "InTravel Magazine" and "WAVE Journey Magazine." She also writes for "Inspire Us Magazine." Patterson is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mercy College.