Bathroom Breaks for Teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bella84, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. CherryOak

    CherryOak Rookie

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    You're certainly not the only one! I drink less in the morning when I sub. Dehydration is a tricky enemy. Is there a grade that goes to specials when you'd likely need to go? Any friends in those grades? Ask around and hopefully you'll find someone with a similar concern. I've heard of paras checking on pregnant teachers on a regular basis.
     
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  2. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    The specials teachers have their last five minutes of plan time right at a good transition time for me (a time when I could easily sneak out and have someone else watch the kids). I'm considering asking the one who is closest to my classroom to stop by on the regular. I'm not really close with her, but I could certainly work on that.
     
  3. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    This became a union issue at our district so now we have mandated 10 min passing periods on all but minimum days to accomadate teachers who need to go. So 90 mins teaching then 10 min break
     
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  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    The only thing I truly disliked about being a classroom teacher was not being able to use the restroom whenever I needed to. I had to methodically time my liquid intake in order to avoid needing to run to the bathroom during class.
     
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  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I do one of two things. Either I coordinate a time with the teacher across the hall, and we both take a break right after each other, or I take the whole class to the bathroom and go when they do. Our teacher bathroom is right next to the student bathroom, so it's easy to pop in.
     
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  6. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    That was actually my original plan - Take the whole class on a bathroom break, with one other class, and then the other teacher and I would take turns going. However, the time we chose was the same time as six other classes. 3/4 of the classes in our building transition at the exact same time, so apparently it was the same time that everyone wanted to take a break. And we only have three bathrooms in the whole building. Since I dislike whole class bathroom breaks anyway (such a waste of time!), I decided not to deal with that mess in the hallway. I still let my kids use the restroom during that time, but we do a brain break in the classroom while a few kids go at a time. If I could get another staff member to regularly pop into my room during that time, that would be ideal. It would still mean that I'd be waiting 2.5 hours for a break and then 1.5 for another break... but that's much better than waiting 4 hours 10 min for the first and only break!

    I think I'm going to talk to one of the teachers next door and see if we can work out an every day plan... If that doesn't work, then I'll go to one of the principals and ask for support from outside the grade-level. This is just causing me too much anxiety and unpleasant physical side effects.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I totally understand where you are coming from, but I also know many people who don't have a problem holding it for that long, which baffles me. To this day I still remember the fact that my best friend used to never use the school bathrooms when we were in HS because she thought they were "gross"- she thought it was no big deal to just wait until she got home. With travel time that was about 8 hours without using the restroom at all. I, on the other hand, needed to go several times during the school day. I also taught summer school where I was in the classroom for 5 hours with no break, and had to make sure I had absolutely no liquids to make it through. All of the the other teachers were drinking coffee in the morning AND carrying huge water bottles around...maybe your teammates are like this?

    I think these are your best options:

    1. Explain to your next door teammate exactly the details that you've said here...about the anxiety, the impact on your health, etc. I think that hearing that any reasonable person would want to help out. Ask her if there is a regular time that would work best for her. If she truly doesn't need a bathroom break, see if there is some other small way you could help her out instead- maybe make some of her copies?

    2. Find a friend in the building that has a prep time during your morning, and ask them to stop by your room for a few minutes. You can do the same thing for them during your prep time in the afternoon.

    3. Find a friendly para in your building that would be willing to stop by your room for 2 minutes on the way to their next task- I know several in my building that would agree to something like this.

    4. Explain the situation to your admin and ask if someone from the office can stop by your room in the morning. You could even phrase it as, "My other option would be to take a whole class bathroom break, but I'd really hate to waste all of that instructional time." That way it's on your admin's shoulders if they tell you to take the whole class bathroom break instead.

    5. I would not ask the specials teacher to give up 5 minutes of her prep every day unless you can do something for her in return. Even though I'm sympathetic to the situation, I'd be annoyed at that request, especially being sensitive to the fact that many think non-classroom teachers have "less work" to do (even if you don't think that, it would probably come off that way since this is such a common perception). 5 minutes every day is 25 minutes of lost prep time weekly, which is quite the chunk of time when you put it together, so I would make sure you're willing/able to do something for her that would be the equivalent of the 25 minutes weekly.
     
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  8. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    What if you found a colleague wanted/needed a few minutes each day for a RR break? You could step in for each other at a set time-- that way you aren't calling in the middle of a lesson or disrupting their class since it'd be a planned break.
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    I guess some people have large or magical bladders... I can't imagine going the entire day without using the restroom! I've done it before, but it was always on a day that I didn't drink hardly a drop - not so good for your health.

    I think you have some good ideas that I'll have to try. I do want to clarify, however, that the reason I said I'd ask the specials teacher is because we lost a grade-level in our building last year. As such, our specials teachers now have a lot of extra time in their schedules. They are supposed to be using that extra time to provide individual support to students who need it, as well as taking on additional duties. So, classroom teachers get 95 min of lunch and plan time per day, with two of those plan time days each week being taken up by a planning and PLC meeting. On the contrary, specials teachers get 315 min of plan/lunch/duty time per day and NO regular meetings during the week. Granted, some of their time is actually be used to help students or supervise recess and lunch, but they have A LOT more student-free time than classroom teachers do. I honestly think that my principal would probably go directly to the specials teachers to have them provide me coverage anyway, if I went to him first. That's the reason I said I'd ask the specials teacher closest to me. She already has a lot more plan time than I do, and the specials teachers have been directed by admin to find ways to use that extra time to provide support to others around the building. It's still 25 minutes of her time, you're right, and I'd want to make that up to her, but I think it'd be more reasonable for her to do it than it would for another classroom teacher who also has to make it to those meetings during limited plan times throughout the week.

    All that said, I think I'll go with your first idea before trying anything else. I've already mentioned some of my concerns to the teacher next door, so it wouldn't be adding on a whole lot more embarrassment to just ask her for a scheduled daily time.
     
  10. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    I recall a workshop leader telling the story of a person complaining that teachers have the easiest job in the world, babysit a bunch of kids all day and have all the holidays and summers off. The leader asked the person, "On your job, what do you do when you need to use the restroom." The person replied, "That's a silly question. I just go." The leader responded, "Teachers can't just leave to use the restroom."

    On a more serious note, if there are any changes in your restroom occurrences, it's highly advisable to check with your PCP as soon as possible. This can be a sign of bladder cancer which, if caught early, is readily treated, usually with immunotherapy. It could also be a symptom of interstitial cystitis, which can be treated with diet. [In proofreading my post, I'm concerned I might be sounding like a know-it-all, which isn't my intent. After my lengthy ordeal with cancer and the lasting side effects (although in remission), I wouldn't wish it on anyone]. I would advise never withholding drinking water for lengthy periods nor skipping breakfast; (a quick note on water, some people react to tap water and need filtered or cautiously chosen bottled water). I would also advise daily doses of decaffeinated green tea; (note: decaffeinated drinks still contain a limited amount of caffeine). Green tea has been shown to possibly benefit the bladder and prevent many forms of cancer. Overall, water and nutrition are essential for cancer prevention and brain functioning; frankly, asking a teacher to avoid drinking water or using a restroom is the same as saying to a teacher, "We're trying to shorten your life or make you very sick, and we're trying to limit the function of your brain in the classroom, with the extended possibility of obtaining dementia in later years."
     
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  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    I just got my schedule for this year, and I will once again be pushing to just under 4 hours. Our students only get one minute to switch classes, so no help there. My aides will help if I get them, but since they are our subs, it is very common for no aide to be available. Since these are SPED students, there is no locking the door and leaving them in the hall. It isn't that another teacher wouldn't help, but when aides aren't available, they can't leave their class for the same reason I can't leave mine. I think I will discuss this with the P tomorrow.
     
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    How do they have only one minute? Is your school very small? That's such a little bit of time!
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    Yes, very small, totally SPED. They have only a few steps between classes. If given more time, they just create chaos in the halls and go where they don't belong. It is harder on the the teachers than the kids!
     
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  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    I wouldn't get any bathroom breaks (we don't even get prep or lunch time) if it weren't for my teaching assistants.I can leave them in charge and run to the restroom pretty much whenever I need to between any period. Our periods are only 30 minutes long so there's usually never a problem.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Most days I go from 7:30 AM until 1 PM without a break; some days I don't get a break at all because on those days I have classes starting at 1. Most of the time I can manage, thanks to my dad who constantly took us on looooong road trips and only stopped to fill up the gas tank, lol. If it becomes urgent, I ask the person closest to me to keep an eye on my kids for a minute while I run to the bathroom.
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    its almost like you were trained for this.
     
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  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I know, right? It's like some weird butterfly effect or something. Except that it affects only me and involves pee.
     
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  18. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

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    :rofl:
     
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  19. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    That's truly amazing. Do you drink anything before school or during that time? I can't fathom being able to wait that long unless I just don't drink anything or only sip on very little over a long period of time.
     
  20. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    As a classroom teacher the SPED room was next door, so three teachers and a handful of aides. Most days I'd ask someone to pop over for a minute

    Now as a sub, I'm dying. Sometimes I have to go 4 hours. I'm pregnant. I've considered buying Depends. They were giving out free samples at Costco and I took some!!!
    I'm usually at one school, so I've asked a teacher that has a student teacher if one of them can check on me once in a while
     
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