There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded. Robert Brault

Whats driving a bus like? Seventy of your kids in the back seat going to town. Mr. Brandon

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Stick To It"

A young man on the bus told me of the endeavors of a kindergarten student that was seated behind him.   I listened but I must admit there was serious doubt in my mind if the kindergartner was really up to the task that he was trying to accomplish.  I looked in the mirror and tried to locate the busy young man.  There seemed to be a lot of activity coming from his seat.  As we pulled up to the kindergartner's home he walked up the aisle proudly showing the results of his endeavors.  Much to my surprise he had accomplished exactly what had been reported to me that he was trying to do.  Thomas Edison was reported to have said, "The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense."  Yes, the young man walked up the aisle with an eraser securely glued to his forehead.  I believe he truly embodied two of the essentials that Edison had espoused.  I'll let you decide which one he was missing. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Just Kids"

Upon hearing Mr. Mucus give out a loud, "Good Job" I looked in the mirror to see who he was encouraging.  Mr. Mucus is not only a glass half full kind of kid but it's half full of chocolate milk kind of kid.  I found him patiently giving spanish lessons to the students in the seat across the aisle from him.  He started with the basics, "How do you say, yes?"  They replied, "Si".  "Correct" he said.  Then he asked how to say water.  They responded correctly with "Agua".  At this point he was so excited about the progress that they were making that he yelled out, "Super" followed by a series of high fives.  He then noticed me looking in the mirror and said, "Mr. Brandon, I'm helping these guys with their Spanish and they are doing GREAT!"  I gave him a thumbs up and he returned the gesture.  The Spanish lessons continued with colors and numbers with his students responding correctly each time.  You could tell how proud he was of their great progress.  I decided this was not the time to tell him that they were new to our school and had move here from a Latin American country and that Spanish was their primary language.  It also occurred to me that he did not see them as Latino or foreign.  He just saw them as kids no different from himself. Their hair, eyes, and skin were all darker than his but they were just kids.  Another lesson learned from my teacher Mr. Mucus.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Radio For Help?"

For all my bus driving friends and those who have had to deal with radio traffic.

Bus: 8-12 to school, 8-12 to school..............
        8-12 to school, 8-12 to school..............
        8-12 to school, 8-12 to school..............
        8-12 to school, 8-12 to school..............

School: 8-12 are you trying to get in touch with us?

Bus: Yes, I have a little boy named John Jackson on my bus and there is no one home.  Would you call and find out what I should do with him?

School: You have a boy named Jack and you don't know what to do with him?

Bus #2: You'll be careful there's been a wreck.

School: You've been in a wreck?

Bus: No, I haven't been in a wreck. I have a boy named Jackson and I need you to call and find out where he needs to go because no one is home.

School: Just a minute............ Yes, we tried calling and no one is home.

Bus: Yes, I know there is no one home.

School: Then why is he on your bus?

Bus #3: This is 8-02 I don't have a Jackson on my bus.

School: I thought you said you had a boy named Jack on your bus?

Bus: This is 8-12 I don't have a boy named Jack I have a boy named John.

School: How did he get on your bus if he was supposed to be on 8-02?

Bus: He doesn't ride 8-02, he usually rides my bus but today there is no one home.

School: Ok, he is on your bus but you need to bring him back to school because there is no one at home.

Bus: Ok, I'll bring John Jackson back to school.

School: What? John Jackson, I thought you said Jack Johnson. Give me a second to call and see if anyone is at home.

Bus #2: This is Mr. Jackson I've been busy getting around this wreck, I don't have a boy named John on my bus.

School: 8-12 there is no one at home but they said if you could just bring their son back by at the end of your route there will be some one home by then.

Bus: Sure no problem.

Friday, October 2, 2015

“It’s Everywhere”

There are some things that only register on the ends of the spectrum without appearing in the middle.  Sea food is either good or bad.  You either love opera or love to make fun of those who do.  Thus it is with little, red headed, freckled faced boys who are missing several front teeth.  They are either so nice and cute that you could just rub that ginger head and pinch those freckled cheeks or they are so rotten, still cute, that you wouldn’t leave them in a room with an attack dog for fear of what would happen to the dog (don’t be politically correct you know that kid).  Such a young man was seated in the first seat as we made our way down the road.  He jabbered and talked to those around him, popped up and down like a ground hog and tried to take in the surroundings as we traveled along.  Student after student left the bus till the number of students on the bus was down to an amount that was manageable by a preschooler, so he started counting, "One, two, three, four and one driver that makes five people on the bus."  As I approached the next house the teacher in me decided to grab that teachable moment and I said as the student stepped off, "Five minus one is .......?" He looked around took his preschool count and said, "Four!" His older sister, a much wiser kindergartner said, "That's right!"  With wide eyes he threw his hands in the air and said, "I'm learrrrrnnnning!"  It’s everywhere, in classrooms, libraries, offices, and even in the front seat of a school bus going down a country road.  Learrrrrnnnnnning it’s all around us.  So channel that red headed, freckled faced, missing teeth grin kind of spirit and dive in.  End the day richeeeeerrrrrr than when you started.