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[Weekly Inspiration] A School Bus Driver’s Special Delivery

[Weekly Inspiration] A School Bus Driver’s Special Delivery

Curtis Jenkins, a bus driver for Lake Highlands Elementary in Dallas, Texas, is here to show us that educator inspiration doesn’t always come from inside a classroom.

In order to ensure that every child on his bus has a positive experience, Curtis has constructed a full job system that helps to foster the idea of community on his bus. Every one of his riders has a job, and those jobs come with duties aboard the bus. Each job has a special title, and Curtis knows every student’s name and job title.

But because he knows this structure wouldn’t work without some extra follow-through, Curtis truly goes above and beyond the usual duties of a bus driver.

Curtis knows each student well – what they like, don’t like, what they aspire to do and become. Throughout the year, he brings every one of his riders personalized presents to help ensure they feel loved and supported. In the video, he brings a student a t-shirt featuring a print of art that she drew in a book that she wrote, because he wants to inspire her to keep writing books.

He sums it up himself pretty succinctly: “I put time, effort, love, care, understanding… understanding each and every one of those kids.”

Over the years, Curtis has spent thousands of dollars on his riders, putting time and thought into every gift. But when these kids were asked what they loved about riding with Curtis, none even brought up the gifts. For these students, it’s the thought that counts, the time and energy that Curtis puts into learning their stories and making sure that they feel loved and supported.

“That’s the paycheck, right there…” he said, with a smile. “If I can get that, you can keep the money.”