I survived the last day of school yesterday. I felt a little off when I got up but certainly not bad enough to call in sick. They had offered monitors to any driver that was worried about kids acting up. I declined and my kids were even better than I thought they'd be.
The middle school had their awards ceremony and ran late, just like last year and the year before, and the year before that........ It took a couple of my kids forever to get to the bus because it was their last day in this building and they had to hug everybody goodbye. We have a tradition here that all of the teachers line up along the sidewalk to wave good-bye and we blow our horns as we drive by. Most districts don't equip the buses with air horns but we do. Having done this for years I knew to take something for a headache ahead of time. I'm toward the front of the line and the horns didn't start too early so it really wasn't too bad. I let them sit wherever they wanted and cranked up the radio and they talked, laughed and cried. They did not throw things, yell or get out of line in any way. I had had trouble with this group off and on during the year and almost didn't keep the group for next year. I'm glad I'll have them next year and I'll miss them this summer.
Because the middle school ran so late, we were very late getting to the elementary school. Both the students and teachers were more than ready for us when we finally had all 26 buses lined up. I knew I'd be in for a loud trip when I heard them all screaming as they poured out of the school. The little kids think it is a big deal to be the first one to their bus and this was Liz's last chance for the year. I could see her running out in front of the pack and since I had no students on my bus yet I pulled my keys and met her on the sidewalk. I grabbed her and gave her a hug and kiss and let her go. She was unhappy with me but she was still 1st to her bus. LOL I missed Nikki as she went by :-(
At the elementary I was 24th in line. The horns were loud and seemed to last forever. I can't imagine being a teacher listening to all of them standing on the sidewalk! (I know some of them bring ear plugs) I stopped blowing the horn as we headed out onto the road expecting the "No more teacher's, No more books" chant. I'm not sure if it was planned or spontaneous but they surprised me with "We Will Rock You". There were 52 of them in a 30' tin can yelling WE WILL, WE WILL, ROCK YOU! - followed by the stomp, stomp clap. They couldn't remember the rest of the words so they just kept repeating that over and over as I drove to the first neighborhood. The parents waiting for the bus at the first stop heard us long before they could see us round the curve. I let them keep it up through the first neighborhood and told them that was enough as we headed out on the main road. Only one 5th grader kept yelling. He was of the opinion that he would not be on my bus next year so he could do what ever he wanted. I pointed out that I had his Mom's phone # and he decided being grounded at the beginning of vacation wouldn't be good. The other chant did start, but fairly quietly. I got on the PA and pointed out that I'd be calling the parents of anybody that used any of the bad words in the 2nd and 3rd verses and surprisingly I didn't hear any of the words.
Most of my parents know to listen for the horns and I'll be along shortly. Some of my new parents weren't aware of this and were mighty annoyed that I was running so much later than expected but at least when I run late they are all out waiting and I had no left over kids.
Several of the elementary routes had to be changed somewhat for next year due to the high cost of fuel. (Currently $5.16 a gallon here.) More of the buses will be full like mine. I will be swapping a few streets with another driver which will save him miles and fuel. I will still have 50 - 60+. I will miss some of the kids that will be on the other route and at the same time I'm looking forward to meeting the kids that will be new to me and the driving challenge that the new streets on the route will provide.
I decided not to work this summer so I can enjoy working in my garden, catch up on some projects around the house and continue to transcribe letters. Hopefully I'll get back to regular posting here too ;-)