Georgia Teachers Begin Training As Bus Drivers Amid Shortage

Dekalb County, Georgia is still dealing with a shortage of bus drivers that has impacted a school year well-underway. However, teachers are taking up the charge to ensure that their students have the transportation to get to class.

Teachers within 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 to be filled, 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,” shared Mr. Frazier.

“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 its needed.

According to the news outlet, districts across Metro Atlanta were scrambling with new incentives, such as increased wages, to garner enough applicants to fill the much-needed role before the year started. While those strategies did not fulfill the desired slots, a reach out toward teachers has yielded some results to aid the cause.

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 Mr. Frazier are happy to do their part 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,” shared the Georgia educator of his dual role.

“It’s a long day, but for some reason, I don’t mind.”

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