Many of the students [in the Trucker Buddy program] struggle with academics. However, they work hard and achieve success because they are fascinated by the trucking industry.
~ Mrs. B.
We will match you with a teacher who wants a committed driver to communicate with them while on the road. The driver will send in post cards, emails, letters, pictures, use our iPhone and Andriod app. These communicatiions generate lesson plans about geography, math, science, social studies and more. The students then write letters back to the driver about what they learned. Teachers love the program because it's not just learning things from a book but learning through the eyes of a professional driver while on crossing the country.
Once or twice a year the driver can take their truck to school and get to meet the teacher and class. All communicaton goes through the teacher.
We make every effort to assign drivers within thirty days subject to class availability. Please note that requests made after second semester maybe be assigned for the next school year.
Be sure to look at the Available Teachers List and if you see one you want let us know.
If you can't find a class we will send you some brochures to take to your local school.
Always ask your teacher how they would prefer to be contacted. Many prefer E-Mails or letters but some can receive phone calls. Remember, most teachers don't have a phone in their class so calls may hinder the classroom operations.
First make sure you read the rules and guidelines. Then contact your assigned teacher and discuss their style of teaching and how they want you to communicate with the class. Many want their driver to write letters and post cards as well as using emails. They want the written communicatio because it incourages the students to write you back and imporve their writing skills. You and your teacher are a team so work together to accomplish the goal of encouraging kids and teaching them about the wonderful world of trucking.
Beginning the Trucker Buddy program is easy and pain free. Here are the steps to starting.
1. Once a match is made we will send you the teachers contact information. Contact them but be patient. They are busy with classroom activities and might be a few days before they can meet. The main goal is to be a teaching tool to help them make better students. Find out what their goal is and how you can help.
2. You can communicate with the teacher in many ways. Find what works best with your teacher and their class.
Pick up post cards along your route. It takes a few minutes to fill out a post card while you waiting to be unloaded or fulfilling your hours of service. One postcard can generate an instant geography, math, current events, science, social study lesson and it gives the students a subject to write you back.
Use our iPhone and Android App. It's free and allows you to send the teacher pictures with the location on a map. The class can also follow you around the country if you company will allow it.
Email is always a good option. Some schools have a very good spam protector so make sure the teacher has approved you.
Skype and Face Time works well at certain schools.
Other drivers do the above and add activities to the program like locating and sending rocks from the Rocky Mountains or cotton from the south. Some buy a stuffed animal and have it ride with them as the class mascot taking pictures along the way.
If you would like to talk to a current Trucker Buddy driver please let us know and we can give you contact information.
Ask if the school will allow you to bring your truck to the school at a future date. Some schools are located in a place where you can't get the truck and trailer in but probably could bob-tail into the school.
When you receive your driver assignment, have the students write a letter of introduction, describing the classroom, what subjects they are studying, and what questions about the driver they wish to ask. What type of truck does he/she drive? What types of loads does he/she haul?. What states have they visited? Get to know your driver and the pen-pal relationship will develop naturally. The students should write a letter at least once a month to their assigned driver.
What you write about depends on where you are, and what you are doing. Don't be afraid of telling the students about your everyday life. You may think hauling freight ordinary, but to children, its a whole new world. They will naturally be curious about what you haul, where you go, what sights you see, and how much time and money it costs to travel across the country. You can open up the world to the students in a new, exciting, way through your letters.
Once you find out what the students are studying and when, you can help the teacher find learning materials as you write. For example, if your class is learning about the Rocky Mountains, and you have a run going through Colorado, try getting a tourist brochure of the Rockies, or a pamphlet from the National Park Service.
Be sure to remember the age group of your assigned class and write accordingly. How you correspond with second graders will be very different from how you correspond with eighth graders. If you have trouble determining what is appropriate, ask the teacher for help.
If you don't have a particular driver in mind then we will place your class on our website (Grade, City, State, Special Needs Yes or No) and will inform you when a driver has selected your class for participation in the program. You can check in with us from time to time at 1-800-MYBUDDY
Letters to the driver should help reenforce the lesson plans you taught that day especially if they related to a communication from the driver.
Have the students write about the subjects they will be studying. Write a personal letter to the driver to assist him/her in finding materials that would be helpful to your class. Help the driver choose topics and materials that are appropriate to the student's ages and academic level.
The rules and guidelines are in place to not only to protect the children but to protect you as well. Following these rules keeps anyone from accusing you of inappropriate behavior and protects your good name. These also protect the children and our program from harm.
Remember, if you never have contact with the students except when the teacher is present then you and the students will be safe. If you break the rules you will be asked to leave the program.
Student safety is VERY important to Trucker Buddy and will be strickly enforced.
We encourage you to visit your class but you need to first get permission from your teacher and your company for their instructions and regulations. Make sure you adhere to all Trucker Buddy Guidelines. As a matter of courtesy and safety, never visit your assigned school unexpectedly. Children are NEVER allowed to ride in the truck and all activities must be supervised by the teacher. This is a protection for the students as well a protection for you too.
Do not allow the students to climb on the fith wheel or on the tires as they could fall and hurt themselves. Always help the students up into the cab or in the trailer to protect them from a fall. Inappropriate touching of the students while helping them into the truck is NEVER allowed and will mean instant elimination from the program and could cause you to be prosecuted. Always make sure your teacher or another administrator is with you while helping the students.
Teach safety like blind spots, stopping distances, seat belts and turning radiuses. Show them that the truck is your business and it's how you make a living for you and your family.
Be sure to bath and shave (for men) and where clean clothes. Wearing your company uniform if you have one always makes a good impression.
This is your opportunity to put a face behind the wheel of your truck so make the most of it.