DeKalb County, Georgia, is still dealing with a shortage of bus drivers with the school year well underway by looking in the classroom.
Teachers in the DeKalb County School District have begun training in the additional role of bus drivers, as reported by 11Alive. With over 100 positions still open, their willingness to step up has eased the concerns of the county to have enough drivers for its student body.
Some teachers who have taken on the duty have a greater understanding of all that is required of the job, especially while on the road. Exavier Frazier, a teacher at Stone Mill Elementary School, is the first of this untraditional cohort to complete CDL training to become an official driver, a job he does not take lightly.
“You’re not just focusing on the road,” he said. “You have to actually focus on what’s behind you, those children, those people. You have to actually watch them, too. It’s a very intense job. I’ll put it like that.”
While standard work hours would have drivers preparing for the afternoon shift as kids are in class, Mr. Frazier’s schedule continues on in the media center. Throughout the school day, he spends his time in different classrooms reading to students.
It is a job he has spent over two decades thriving in, but is happy to expand his responsibilities to, literally, pick up where it’s needed.
According to the news outlet, districts across Metro Atlanta were scrambling even with new incentives such as increased wages to attract applicants. While those strategies did not fulfill the desired slots for bus drivers, teachers were asked.
Having enough bus drivers to fulfill all routes is crucial to students’ accessibility to school, with the transportation being a necessity in many households to ensure kids can make it to class, as well as on time. While the work hours can be “long,” teachers like Frazier are happy to get students back and forth.
“You don’t just do one route. You do two or even three routes. There’s a lot of work because we’re still shorthanded,” he said.
“It’s a long day, but for some reason, I don’t mind.”
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