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Old 01-28-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
PollyannaMom
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Question for DIS Teachers

My 6th-grader came home today complaining that his teacher says no to bathroom requests. As a sub in his district, I know we're actually not supposed to do that, but I also know how disruptive it can be to lessons. So, I tried to coach him about asking during individual seat work time, rather than during instructions or at the very beginning of class. It's what I prefer myself.

However, he says she still says no and asks why he didn't go at lunch. (The answer to that would be the kid who steals your food if you leave it unattended. But as she's never been a 12-year-old boy, he can see how she wouldn't think of that.)

So, before I risk being seen as a difficult, coddling parent, I'd like to give him some other options. When do you feel is the best time for your students to ask?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by PollyannaMom View Post
My 6th-grader came home today complaining that his teacher says no to bathroom requests. As a sub in his district, I know we're actually not supposed to do that, but I also know how disruptive it can be to lessons. So, I tried to coach him about asking during individual seat work time, rather than during instructions or at the very beginning of class. It's what I prefer myself.

However, he says she still says no and asks why he didn't go at lunch. (The answer to that would be the kid who steals your food if you leave it unattended. But as she's never been a 12-year-old boy, he can see how she wouldn't think of that.)

So, before I risk being seen as a difficult, coddling parent, I'd like to give him some other options. When do you feel is the best time for your students to ask?
I have always taught my daughter that if she has to use the bathroom adn the teacher says no (UNLESS its for a reason like the middle of a new lesson) she is to get up and leave, go to the bathroom and then go to the principals office and have them call me and I will come down and discuss it. I would never want my daughter to leave a half eaten lunch and come back and continue eating it, you never know what someone could have done to it. But I would tell her to try to go after eating whenever possible- the leaving class is only in an emergancy when told no!
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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Is there time to go in between classes that are near each other or before he gets his food at lunch?
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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It depends on the classroom and the policy. I know all of our classes go to the bathroom after any transition (recess, specials, lunch) so there are always ample opportunities. I have started saying no because I had some "frequent flyers" and it was always at the same time, which is a sign that they may not really need to go. That being said, I tell them to use the bathroom before we get started.

If I had asked a student why they didn't go during lunch, I do not mean that I expect them to go during the lunch itself, but during the bathroom break after lunch or ask on the way back. By 12, they should generally be old enough to know the school schedule and be able to hold it. Most teachers if they believe the kid ccannot hold it will still let them go.

As to the poster who said they told their child to actively disobey teacher, I can't believe you would tell your child that. Im probably going to be flamed for this, but coaching kids to disobey the rules because they are inconvenient or you don't like them is the reason why we have so many people who think the rules don't apply to them. It's one thing if your kid is going to pee their pants, but if there is no medical issue ,that should not be a common thing. At least in elementary school, we give the kids plenty of opportunities and unless they are in the middle of a lesson, most teachers let kids go. They may need to wait for the teacher to finish a lesson or giving directions, or maybe somebody has a hall pass. Every so often we are told not to let the kids in the hallway (like a medical emergency in the school.) We often don't tell the kids, just keep teaching. If you are truly that concerned about a policy, talk to the teachers ahead of time and partner with them. Otherwise you are "that" mom and are creating an antagonisitic relationship with your child's teacher, which only hurts the kid in the long run If you truly dont believe your kid should follow rules, perhps you are better off homeschooling.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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I sub also. I can hardly find any time to use the restroom! I'm always glad if there is another teacher in the room and I can leave for a minute. The kids have 5 minutes between classes but that is NOT enough time to use the restroom. The hallways are CROWDED and it takes a long time just to get to your locker and to your next class. Lunches are short, 30 minutes. It may seem like a lot but when you figure you spend at least 10 minutes of that time in line waiting for your food you don't have much time at all. I would be highly irritated if a teacher told my child they could not use the restroom! However as a sub I also see some kids that will be gone for 15 minutes. Considering I am only there one day I don't want to call them out in case they weren't feeling well but I do think the slacker kids take advantage BIG time. Teachers should be able to tell the good kids who need to go from the kids who are just looking for an excuse to leave, a blanket "no one goes to the bathroom" would not sit well with me!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:47 PM   #6
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I teach and do not say no. I will ask if they hang on for a few minutes or If it's near the end of the lesson can they wait. I also say if they really need to go, then to just go.

When kids start popping up left and right, due to my "never say no" stance, I remind them that I prefer they use the bathroom on their way to my class.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nchulka View Post
I sub also. I can hardly find any time to use the restroom! I'm always glad if there is another teacher in the room and I can leave for a minute. The kids have 5 minutes between classes but that is NOT enough time to use the restroom. The hallways are CROWDED and it takes a long time just to get to your locker and to your next class. Lunches are short, 30 minutes. It may seem like a lot but when you figure you spend at least 10 minutes of that time in line waiting for your food you don't have much time at all. I would be highly irritated if a teacher told my child they could not use the restroom! However as a sub I also see some kids that will be gone for 15 minutes. Considering I am only there one day I don't want to call them out in case they weren't feeling well but I do think the slacker kids take advantage BIG time. Teachers should be able to tell the good kids who need to go from the kids who are just looking for an excuse to leave, a blanket "no one goes to the bathroom" would not sit well with me!
Not only are the halls crowded but the bathrooms are locked- you need to go to one that has a monitor in front of it that will sign you in and out of the bathroom, they just don't allow you to walk in go and leave, you need to be signed in and out due to numerous bomb threats a few years back they made this policy. They have a bathroom monitor sitting at a desk outside select bathrooms, which bathrooms are open depends on how many monitors they get each day. Back when I went to school you would run in between classes- they now have 3 minutes between classes, not much time to get to class and use the bathroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friend of a Mouse View Post
As to the poster who said they told their child to actively disobey teacher, I can't believe you would tell your child that. Im probably going to be flamed for this, but coaching kids to disobey the rules because they are inconvenient or you don't like them is the reason why we have so many people who think the rules don't apply to them. It's one thing if your kid is going to pee their pants, but if there is no medical issue ,that should not be a common thing. At least in elementary school, we give the kids plenty of opportunities and unless they are in the middle of a lesson, most teachers let kids go. They may need to wait for the teacher to finish a lesson or giving directions, or maybe somebody has a hall pass. Every so often we are told not to let the kids in the hallway (like a medical emergency in the school.) We often don't tell the kids, just keep teaching. If you are truly that concerned about a policy, talk to the teachers ahead of time and partner with them. Otherwise you are "that" mom and are creating an antagonisitic relationship with your child's teacher, which only hurts the kid in the long run If you truly dont believe your kid should follow rules, perhps you are better off homeschooling.
That is EXACTLY what did happen to her- TWICE. One time was a teacher saying no and the other the cafeteria monitor saying no--sorry but if my kid is going to pee in her pants she has every right to get up and go to the bathroom.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Teachers should be able to tell the good kids who need to go from the kids who are just looking for an excuse to leave, a blanket "no one goes to the bathroom" would not sit well with me!
I also teach. The problem with the above statement about telling the good kids from the bad is that you can't prove it. Yes, I know that Johnny will happily spend 20 minutes out of every hour in the bathroom just to get out of class. However, when Johnny complains to the principal that I won't let him go, but I let Tommy, Mike, or Jenny go, I'm the one who has to prove that I'm not treating Johnny unfairly or favoring the others. Doesn't matter that the others rarely ask and truly need to go when they do ask, if Johnny doesn't get to go every time he asks, he's not being treated fairly. Let Johnny's mother call and guess who now has permission to leave the room whenever he swears he really has to go. Another problem is letting one child go immediately starts a parade. I have one child who has a documented medical need to use the restroom frequently. Every child in the room knows that, they all understand why this child isn't asked to wait or told no, but every time the child asks to go, at least 3 more suddenly have "emergencies that can't wait". That means I now have a choice of stopping and waiting until everyone with a sudden emergency comes back, or continuing on and then back tracking to catch the emergency kids up to the rest of the class. Either way wastes an incredible amount of time. We send the kids after breakfast, mid-morning, after lunch, after/before recess, and on the way to/from related arts. That averages out to a minimum of every hour and a half. Unless you're teaching very young kids, or there's a special circumstance, they shouldn't have to go more frequently then that.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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Retired teacher - I never had an issue with bathroom use. I had a sign-out sheet & when the student returned, they crossed their name out. I never "checked it" to see how often anyone was using the bathroom. The signout was so that I would know if the student was out of the room at the time of a fire drill, etc.

I think making issues out of bathroom use creates problems. If the students can quietly get up & go to the bathroom without disruption - why not? Using the bathroom IS normal.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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I let them go....but I also have kids that go every day. Annoying and a waste of their class time!
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:58 PM   #11
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At the middle school age, they do tend to use the bathroom for things other than using the bathroom. However, I understand emergencies, and I understand not having to go at lunchtime, but needing to go later! At the school I used to teach at, each quarter, they would get 5 passes to be responsible for my class. They would date it and it would be signed by me at the time of use, that way no one would abuse the pass to take.

One student, however, ALWAYS had to go right at the beginning of my class (the period after recess). Because it was constant, and I knew this student wasn't using the time for something else, I gave him 1 extra minute to get to use the bathroom and back to class. Any longer, then I would write him up as late (I never did, but at least the threat was there lol)

Another teacher used HUGE passes to take (like a shield or toilet seat ) so they would be less inclined to go during his class.


I think that it's absurd for a kid to not be allowed to use the bathroom in class. I can see that if a student is found to be abusing bathroom privileges, then it should be taken away for that PARTICULAR student. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilgail2 View Post
That is EXACTLY what did happen to her- TWICE. One time was a teacher saying no and the other the cafeteria monitor saying no--sorry but if my kid is going to pee in her pants she has every right to get up and go to the bathroom.
How old was your daughter when those incidents happened? Was there some kind of medical problem, since not being able to hold it by middle school age (which is what the OP is talking about) would be a major red flag in terms of a medical issue.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:15 PM   #13
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Rotten kids have ruined it for everyone. We had 4 minute passing periods, 20 minute lunch, 8-10 minutes to shower and change after gym, and 9 minutes to walk to the middle school to catch the bus home. All because some kids use down time for bullying and other bad activities. After my 3rd UTI my sophomore year from holding it from 7:30-3:30 my mom got a doctor note so I could go when I needed to.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:44 PM   #14
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I teach middle school. My students have at least nine chances a day to go to the restroom between classes or to and from lunch. Having said that, I generally don't have a problem letting someone go during class as long as it's not in the middle of the lesson and I don't feel as if they're just trying to get out of doing their work.

If I feel it's become excessive, I call the parents and ask if there is a medical concern that would make their child need to use the restroom more often than normal. It's been my experience, though, that those with medical conditions always let me know at the beginning of the year. No one wants their child to be embarrassed by a bathroom accident, and it takes a lot of pressure off the child because they know that I know.

Also, I'm easier on the girls(bad I know), but this is the age where many of them start their periods, they're not always regular, and they would rather die than tell me why they need to go to the restroom so often. If it gives them peace of mind, I can deal with them missing a little class.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:50 PM   #15
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The current system I use has been the best thing in preventing "frequent fliers" and in making both kids and parents aware of when and how often they're leaving the classroom (whatever the reason). It guides them in making decisions regarding if it's a true emergency or if they can hold it (or get the "needed" supply at another time or from somewhere else in the room). It's also useful at conference time if necessary.

Every trimester, students receive a "Hall Pass" sheet that they paste into their assignment notebook. It is divided into sections based on subject area and, under each subject area is 6 empty spaces. When they need to leave the room for any reason (other than a band lesson, retrieve something from the office, etc.), I have to initial the pass under that subject.

If the child absolutely has to go over 6 passes in a subject area that trimester, s/he may still use the washroom, but s/he owes me tickets (they earn tickets each month to use toward our monthly auction, so losing tickets is also a deterrent). They also owe tickets if they "lost" their hall pass and it needs to be replaced. The big thing is that they make the decision on whether it's absolutely necessary to leave the room--not me.

4 major subject areas (Reading, Math, Science/SS, Writing) x 6 opportunities to leave during each = 24 times to leave the classroom each trimester!

That's in ADDITION to the times they may go in the morning before class, on the way to specials, on the way back from specials, on the way to recess, recess, on the way back from recess, on the way to lunch, lunch, on the way back from lunch, and at the end of the day. You get the point. There are MORE than enough opportunities for students to do things without disrupting their learning each and every day.

Is this something you could suggest to your son's teacher?
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