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Meet our monitor

Ever wondered what happens on the school bus once it picks up your little one and pulls away? We talked to Gina Ababan, bus monitor on the Safa British School – Jumeira route, to find out!

How does your day start?

My day starts at 4.30am because at 5.30am I have to do the bus checks before we leave to pick up the children. Every morning I check the seatbelts and emergency exits, and make sure the bus is clean and tidy.

What’s the most important part of your job?

To make the children safe. Make sure they have seatbelts on. But it’s also my job to make them feel happy and comfortable inside the bus.

You have children of all ages under your care. How do you make sure they are all well looked after?

My youngest passengers are in FS1. They are 4 years old. They have special seats because they are smaller. They need extra care because they are so small, so I check on them more often and make sure they are happy and safe.

The children like to talk and tell stories, so I sit and listen to them. They like to sing, so sometimes we will sing together – children’s songs like “Doe a Deer” and “Wheels on the Bus”.

With the older children, I talk to them and get to know them. Then when I need them to listen to me, they do because they respect me. It takes some time but it’s important.

Are the children always well behaved?

Sometimes when they are new, they don’t know the rules but soon they are all behaving and sitting nicely.

And the parents?

The parents are very nice. They are worried about their children’s safety. It’s the most important thing to them of course. But they are always nice. And they are always on time!

What do you do once the children are in school?

After the children are at school, I go to the STS office to do the other part of my job. I make all of the cards for the children’s birthdays. Every month I make more than 400 birthday cards and send them out so they can be given to the child on the bus on their birthday. In the holidays, I help out in the office and at STS roadshow events – like Road Safety events and fairs at schools.

What makes you a good bus monitor?

I’m always smiling. I like making people feel comfortable.

How does your day end?

When the last child has been dropped off, I check the bus to make sure no children are still on board. This is very important. Then I check that the bus is clean and tidy and ready for tomorrow.

What makes a good day for you?

If the kids are happy and all behaving I can see that they are just talking with each other or telling stories with each other, then it’s a good day. I’m very happy.