Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Training Begins!

This week is the start of our 2 1/2 week training session with the school district. Is it too early to say yet again that I love my job?

This district is a cross between all the good things of my previous employers, it seems. It has structure and rules and paperwork like Durham and Flagler, but also perks to reward that paperwork. I found out that in this discipline system (very much like the one in Flagler with phone calls to parents being one of the first steps) I will have the authority to directly suspend students for misbehavior. Only for a few days, but I won't have to go through anyone else as long as I have documentation of the previous discipline steps. I can't tell you exactly why that ability pleases me so much, as I likely won't get to use it. I only remember having had to write up students when an injury was involved, because otherwise that phone call meant the end of whatever the issue was.

We'll start driving next week, but the buses appear to be mostly front-engine stub-nose types. I admit that I think I'll fall in love with them again. The placement of the cross-view mirrors on the hood in front of the driver like that is simply easier for me to see comfortably as a short person crammed beneath that steering wheel. On the flat buses I was pretty much unable to use those- which was fine as far as I was concerned because there is that huge clear windshield to see in front of the bus instead. These buses have a few different types of child-check alarms too. I'm certain I will set off at least two of them accidentally. We'll give it a month for that guess to prove true or false, and if residents in the area hear the completely obnoxious sound of a car alarm amplified through 40 feet of bus and echoing off the buses around it- that might be me. While I hate child check systems, it is unfortunately true that not every driver is as attentive to that duty as I currently am. I hope when I've been driving as long as some other employees that I'm still as religious in walking through and checking for sleeping kids. And lastly, the buses here also have automatic student lights that switch from yellow to reds when the service door opens. Hooray! I really like that feature too.

This district also has great people to work with. Our director (supervisor) loves frogs! We walked into his office for introductions and I was grinning like a fool. There are frogs all over the place: sculptures on the desk, stuffed frogs lounging on bookcases, pictures, all different colors sizes and poses. Our trainer is absolutely hilarious. We're having a good time getting through most of the material, though we get slogged down by the tedious details still. I simply love all the stories being told in vague details, but with such a personal flair from each person that I'm really getting a feel for what it is like to work here. These drivers and aids really love their kids. We have several previous drivers returning to the district, a bunch of aids training to be able to drive, and then the newbies like me transferring in. We even have at least one true newbie who hasn't driven before. I think there are about 13 of us total, but I haven't actually counted.

Overall, I'm very excited. Next week we will be done in the classroom and out driving around. Then the beginning of the week after that will be randomly assigned drive-testing. We determine seniority based on the order in which we get a copy of our licenses to the office after testing. I'd rather go first not just for the rank, but to get it over with too.

I'm excited because tomorrow I get to ride my bike. Our class is being held in the West terminal both Wednesdays, which is the one close to home.

(I haven't forgotten an apartment tour. I'm getting things cleaned up slowly and will be done tonight since my twin is visiting tomorrow, and so I'll get a walk-though filmed soon, I promise.)

Lastly, Jamie has a job now too! He will be part-time and continue going to school. What is really perfect about this is that the community college is literally across the street from the store. Both are less than 3 miles from the apartment. Hooray!

I have to go find a tree to rap my knuckles on, this seems too good to be true. Dare I hope?
Happy Tuesday!!