School is back in session, and here I am on bus duty this week. Let’s talk about this. (I know I’ve talked about my duties in the past, but today I’ll be talking more specifically and fully about one particular duty.)
Bus duty is pretty fun. I get to open the door for people as the walk in, and I get to tap my little ID on the door to make sure they get in alright. I say hello, good morning, how are you, or something to that effect to everyone who passes through the door.
Sometimes, when it’s the morning and I don’t have bus duty, I just sort of sit around and wait for the bell to ring so school can officially begin. I feel a bit listless and purposeless without something to do, so it feels good to have bus duty sometimes. It gives me something to look forward to in the morning, regardless of what morning it is. I look forward to seeing all the students in the morning, and I think it helps build rapport and a sense of friendliness between us all. That’s one of the few positive aspects of bus duty.
Essentially, on bus duty, I stand outside and wait for the buses to arrive. When they get to school, I mark down on my clipboard exactly what time they arrive, so that there’s a record of each bus for the future. This way, when students say that they came in late because of buses, there’s again a record to prove whether or not they are telling the truth. It also helps us because apparently the bus company needs those records too. The sheet is turned into the bus company at the end of the week, I guess to make sure the bus drivers are on time and aren’t just slacking off.
My job has loads of duties. Whether it’s reading group duty, or aide duty, or Lexia oversight duty, I’m usually fulfilling one duty or another during any given day. I want to talk pretty briefly about one duty in particular though, as it’s coming up (on the day that I’m writing this) and it might be worth writing about. That duty is lunch and recess duty.
Though I only have lunch and recess duty on Thursdays, it’s still something that lingers in my head. I don’t dread it, like I do certain duties, but it’s a nice little interruption during the day to make sure that I have something to do. When it comes to duties, it definitely ranks somewhere near the top of the list of duties I don’t mind very much. That’s because a lot of it involves walking around and talking with students randomly during the afternoon, and interacting with kids is a very easy, natural thing for me. I don’t put myself out there very much, because of my anxiety when it comes to social situations, but as a teacher, I tend to be a battery for attention pretty naturally. I’ve always said that being a teacher is like being a local celebrity; you’re on people’s minds, and they remember you regardless of what you’ve done.
When I was an intern in North Haven, I had hall duty every once in a while, and my job was to sit at a desk and wait for students to pass by. I asked each one for hall passes and, occasionally, I knocked on the bathroom door to make sure students weren’t wasting their class time in the bathroom doing nothing productive. You’d be surprised how frequently that happened.
Being a teacher means accepting the duties that are given to you, and fulfilling them without complaint. And I’m completely fine with that.
For blog #120, we’ll be talking about bus duty, a duty I don’t mind at all and find to be pretty enjoyable; I enjoy holding the door open for people, and I enjoy being a helping hand when people need it. I enjoy being able to assist others, basically.
Here’s what bus duty entails: go outside and stand in the doorway by 8:50 am, help people inside who are walking in, and mark down the times the buses arrive in the morning. There’s also bus duty in the afternoon, but that’s for another time to talk about. Morning bus duty is simple, but takes some waiting and patience to get used to. Because you are waiting for the buses to arrive so you can mark them down, inevitably some waiting is going to be involved in the process.
In terms of some of the benefits of bus duty, I’ve developed a friendly relationship with the other morning duty worker, and we talk with each other when there aren’t any buses on the horizon. I enjoy talking with him from time to time, whenever I get the chance to be outside. It also allows me to cool down in the morning, giving me something to do that has a simple beginning and end to it, with a fairly simple task attached as well. As someone who trained to be a teacher, I know the benefit of getting to know the kids, as it helps you teach them when it comes time to get into teacher mode. And one of the other benefits of bus duty is getting to know the kids. You can strike up conversations as they walk in, and it gives you a chance to show that you’re not a ridiculous or unfriendly person. As a student and a kid in school, it’s easy to think that all adults in the building are evil.