The Magic Behind the School Bus

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My children's morning bus driver is incredible. She engages the students, learns their names, asks them questions, shows patience and kindness and is unfailingly polite. My middle child, Dasha, is handicapped, and I need to drive to school every day to help her off the bus. Yet even though I drive to school every morning, and even though riding with me means that my son, Daniel, 7, and Dasha, 9, can sleep an extra 15 minutes, they often request to ride the bus. My children especially look forward to riding the bus on trivia day and snack day. The bus ride is a positive experience. They are involved, stimulated and ready to learn when they get to school.

One rainy morning the buses were lined up in front of the school waiting to unload. I could hear the other bus drivers (understandably) yelling at their students to sit down, quiet down, etc. When our bus drove up, I heard the bus driver practicing the pledge to the flag with the kids. Their driver, Sharon Devonish-Prince, is one in a million. She takes her job to a completely different level.

Melanie Williams


Calverton Elementary School


As a volunteer tutor at Centreville Elementary School in Fairfax County, I recently saw what happens when a special bell rings for a hurricane drill: Every student exits his or her classroom and kneels on the floor in the hallway, facing the wall. Upon cue by the PA system, in unison each one crouches down and places hands over head. Not a word is spoken, though more than 800 elementary school children are kneeling side-by-side. What an impressive silence!

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company