Patience. That was the most common answer to this question: “What would you say is the most important trait or skill for a driver trainer to have?”
The question was part of SCHOOL BUS FLEET’s recent Driver Training Survey (although it wasn’t included in the survey feature article, which ran in the April/May 2013 issue).
Of the transportation directors and driver trainers surveyed, 21% pointed to patience as the most important trait for trainers. One survey respondent explained it as “patience when teaching; not everyone learns the same way.”
The second most common response for the top trait of trainers was communication skills, with 17% of respondents. One person described it as a need for “communication with all types of personalities/drivers.”
The No. 3 answer (16%) was knowledge of the job. For one respondent, that means “experience as a bus driver.” Some others cited the need for knowledge of state and federal regulations, student management or school buses themselves.
The No. 4 response (12%) was the ability to engage trainees. One respondent put it as “the ability to get across to the trainee, so they get it,” while another described it as “the ability to train all types of personalities.”
The No. 5 response (10%) was safety consciousness/focus.
Here are some of the other traits cited: personality/attitude (3%), attention to detail (3%), character/integrity (2%), common sense (2%) and work ethic (2%).
As you may have noticed, there was a common thread running through several of the responses: the observation that there are many different types of people to train in pupil transportation — people with different learning styles, people with different levels of experience, people with different needs.
With that variety in mind, perhaps one of the most important traits for driver trainers to have is flexibility.
— Thomas McMahon, executive editor
| posted on Monday, May 20, 2013 2:58 PM