Bathroom breaks!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Fanatic

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    Apr 19, 2017

    It is really rough as an elementary teacher not to get bathroom breaks!

    We have at least one chunk of 3.5 hours each day, and sometimes we have 3 hours in the morning, lunch, 3.5 hours in the afternoon - no breaks. It is super hard as a teacher to stay hydrated! Does anyone else find themselves limiting their water intake so that they don't need to use the restroom?!

    I know this is a big wish but I think that schools should be required to give teachers a break every 2 hours or so. Most other professionals get that. Hourly wage workers get a break every 2 hours, and most salary workers who work at desks have the ability to leave when they want to visit the restroom.
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm lucky in that I teach HS. There are days I go in between quite a few of the periods. I drink a lot of water during the day! I don't know what I'd do if my schedule wasn't like that.
     
  4. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    My longest chunk without a bathroom break is 3.5 hours first thing in the morning. I bring a 40 oz water bottle to work every day and drink almost the whole thing by the time I get home. I'm not sure how I do it. My body gets on a schedule when I'm at work.

    We have connecting doors between our rooms. Our pregnant teachers have to use the neighbor teacher watching their classroom option quite often.
     
  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    Thankfully, we have no more than 1.5 hours at a time, the way our recesses and specialists break the day. We were possibly going to a schedule that would've created that kind of morning...but it seems less likely now...
     
  6. cocobean

    cocobean Rookie

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    I'm pretty lucky with my grade level's schedule. I can work in a bathroom break at snack, lunch, and last recess. I don't go more than 2 hours without a break. I drink plenty of water and like a PP said, my body is used to the schedule!
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Oops - I just realized my longest is 2.5 hours, not 3.5. Oops!
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Maven

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    I used to work in a self contained SPED classroom not located near another classroom. I was with the students all day, including specials (twice a week) and lunch. I very rarely drank anything all day because I never had a break. On my specials days I could sneak away for a few minutes while the other teacher had the class, but that was it. It was a horrible year (for bathroom breaks!) They moved me to a different room the next year with an adjoining door to the next room.
     
  9. agdamity

    agdamity Enthusiast

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    We either get the teacher closest to us to watch our rooms while we run to the restroom, or we go when we take our class to the restroom (teacher restroom is right next to the student restrooms).
     
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  10. CherryOak

    CherryOak Rookie

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    I've often thought there should be a known signal - like hanging something outside the door - just for that purpose. When I have a break while subbing and I'm walking around trying to see if I can help elsewhere, I often wish there was a noninvasive way to ask teachers if they need a bathroom break.
     
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Companion

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    I agree that teachers do need to be given breaks every 2 hours. When I substitute in elementary, it's always hard because there can be long stretches of time without the opportunity for a break. Elementary is so busy that it's hard to get a chance to drink water though! I like subbing for a teacher's aide in elementary because even though the pay is lower, I can use the restroom when I want.Secondary is tough because even though we can leave the room between classes, I don't want to as a substitute because kids come into the classroom right when the other kids leave. I suppose I could just shut the door and have the kids wait in the hallway, but I don't want other teachers to be upset if this isn't the policy. It would be nice if there was someone whose job it was to relieve teachers when necessary. I think a library aide could possibly do it.
     
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  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Devotee

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    Preach! I also love when I sub in a classroom where I know there's a TA for the same reason. Usually there's at least one (if not four) adults in a room at any given time. But this is the problem with subbing, the schedule is never consistent so you just have to kind of adjust. But in your OWN classroom your body will adjust to the regular schedule like clockwork. I miss it.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Phenom

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    Absolutely my problem. From 9-12:45 I teach without any break. We always have aides who are willing to help, but they are not always available. I absolutely don't drink much throughout the day until the students are gone.
     
  14. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

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    I think that you might actually be able to go to the superintendent for this. They do HAVE to give you a bathroom break in that time period, because if you continually wait 3.5 hours to use the restroom, this could cause health issues (mainly UTIs).

    Look up OSHA. Talk to the administrators, and even if they don't change it school-wide, you can perhaps work something out where you're relieved for a moment by office staff or other teachers so you can use the restroom.

    This is completely not okay. No one, let alone the kids, should be made to wait 3.5 hours to use the restroom. I have a medical condition that I can't ignore, so I have to have access every hour (if needed), and if anyone were to interfere with that at my workplace, you bet your butt I'd be raising hell.
     
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  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Devotee

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    It was beautiful last year because we had adjoining walls so I'd just pop in (or vice- versa) and say 'hey.' Our coach ( a really annoying, power hungry dude) didn't like that and said, 'you shouldn't be taking bathroom breaks during instructional time' but... :rofl:
    he's one of those dudes if he had it his way we'd all be chained to our desks and never have any breaks. the sad part is he only taught for 3 years and now is an administrator. ugh. we always just laughed at him when he would try to puff his chest out and show what a big man he was. he's an ap in a new district... sorry guys!
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Connoisseur

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    I once heard internet lore of another teacher of a similar situation. She simply could not have any sort of break. When she brought it up to her administrator, he actually suggested she look into adult diapers.

    My school... It hasn't been a problem with me. Our schedules seem to be broken up just right in that regard.
     
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  17. ms.irene

    ms.irene Devotee

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    Ugh...how do these types keep getting hired as admin?!?
     
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  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    We have periods, but the passing period is only 2-3 minutes long, and I usually have set up to do, and kids milling in immediately after the bell, so on some days I don't use the restroom from from 7:30am to 12:30pm, which is my lunch.
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have a tiny bladder. I'm being 100% serious when I say that for me the biggest "pro" of moving into a specialist position vs. a clasroom teaching position was more bathroom breaks. There are many "cons" and when I've considered trying to go back to classroom teaching, one thing that has stopped me is the lack of bathroom breaks. Although there isn't really time built in, if I really have to I can send a group back 1-2 minutes early so that I can run to the bathroom prior to picking up the next group. The longest time period I have with the same group of kids is 1 hour 15 minutes. Even with that schedule, I still can't just drink all day long. I'm not sure how other teachers manage to carry water bottles around with them! Back when my district still had summer school, it was a 5 hour day with no breaks. In that case I would wake up and have just a few sips of water, go to the bathroom right before the kids arrived, and typically I still had to go by the end of the day! I remember feeling extra crabby/irritated that last summer and I seriously think part of that was being so dehydrated. Other teachers drank coffee in the morning and had their regular water bottles. Again, I'm not sure how they did it- my body just doesn't work that way.
     
  20. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Devotee

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    Because they're serious a -kissers so they schmooze their way up.
    :D
     
  21. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Companion

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    Yes, exactly! And as a sub, I really don't feel comfortable asking neighboring teachers to check on my class. I'm glad I'm going into teaching middle school so I can go between classes.
     
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