Hs students constant asking to leave class to go somewhere..

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by zentea, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. zentea

    zentea Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2012

    So yesterday I had two students come up, one asks to go to the restroom, so I give her the pass, but for some reason another one thinks she is going along with her too. They're not supposed to do this, so I tell them one at a time. And then all of a sudden, one of them wants to go to the counselor instead. Then one of the pair tells me "I can't keep her friend from going to the counselor". So I tell her that her friend can go to the counselor once she gets back from the rest room. They didn't like this idea, and it was clear they were determined to leave class together for whatever reason. I'm guessing they know they are supposed to only go to the restroom one student out at a time, but they have figured out that sometimes another student can leave independently of the "restroom rotation" provided they are going somewhere else other than the restroom i.e. nurse, another teachers class, counselor, front office, etc.

    So this got me thinking about students in and out of the class. After yesterday it's gotten clear to me that when students say they have to go up to the office, counselor, or another class, many times they are simply lying and trying to skip out on class for a bit. Of course much of the time it’s a good student with a sincere request to go somewhere. It can be hard to tell the difference between the two at times.

    Sometimes the teacher will tell me in her notes that the students will not need to go anywhere other than the restroom or nurse, and other times nothing is left in regards to this.

    I guess on one hand, if the teacher leves you nothing in regards to this, being very strict about student in and outs is the safest bet, and how I usually do things. But then on the other, sometimes the students who are lying and skipping out for a bit, are students who if in class might be causing disturbances, talking, or engaging in horseplay, etc. So really if they remove themselves from the class to go the counselor or front office or wherever, it makes my job a little easier since they are not disturbing the class and I don't have to discipline them or kick them out myself.

    Anyways just some thoughts I was thinking about after my day yesterday and was wondering how some of you view and handle student traffic in and out.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 28, 2012

    Just to be clear, you're facing this issue as a substitute?

    As a sub, I'd say that you're within your rights to tell students that they can leave the classroom one at a time.

    I also think that it's fair for you to deny trips to the office or counselor outright, because that business can and should be handled outside of class. They can go to the counselor after class or after school; they don't need to go during the class.

    If you do permit them to go to the office, one thing you could do is require that students return with a pass from the office. If they can't or don't provide that, then you can leave a note for the teacher saying that they were truant. It is up to the teacher to decide whether to pursue that.

    I always tell subs (and my students) that passes are to be used sparingly and only in case of emergency. To me, this means emergency bathroom situations and visits to the school nurse. It does not mean leaving the classroom to talk to a coach, visit with the counselor, turn in an absence excuse note, or any other activity that's not an emergency. Our schedule provides for ample passing time and a lunch period, during which time most students can handle most of their business. They shouldn't need to do it during my class.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    Apr 28, 2012

    Requiring a signed pass is a good idea. Another thing you can also do is telling them that you are going to call the office and say 'student XY is going to see them, the time is now ....'. You don't even have to go through calling, you can just let them know you do this. They might back down, which will show they were not going to go there.

    But I also agree that you can definitely tell them one at a time, because you are responsible for the, and you need to know where each student is.
    Last week I subbed at a school, and I told the kids my one-at-a-time-bathroom policy. It was no problem, I mean they had no choice :)
    They also said the teacher lets some of them sit outside and do their work - I ight even believe this, because I have heard it before, and they even had tables set up outside. But I told them i don't feel comofortable with that, because I need to see them at all time, and i can't keep my eyes on them if they're outside. They didn't like it, but they understood where I was coming from.


    You can definitely make up some of your own restrictions if you think they're reasonable. We all know that students always like to trick the subs, because the subs don't know everything, and the kids can be so convincing. Do what you feel comfortable with.
     
  5. zentea

    zentea Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2012

    Yes, I'm a first year substitute.

    If I do let them go to the counselor or office, the return pass and or telephone call are both great ideas. I'm definitely going to put those two ideas into practice. Those should sort things out quite a bit.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 28, 2012

    I also call down to the office if a student insists that they need to go there. If the student doesn't show up, the office will do an "all-call", asking the student to report to the office. So, they end up there whether they wanted to or not :lol:.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Aficionado

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    Apr 28, 2012

    In our schools it is mandatory to allow a student to go to the counselor upon request.

    Counselors often see students during classtime on the request of the counselor, but aside from that, all students have free access to the counselors at any time including class time.

    So, OP, find out the rules of the school before you choose to not allow students to go certain places.

    I also agree with the signed pass back to class and the phone call if possible.

    Keep a log sheet of who is going where when. So, if little missy doesn't come back with a pass, you have docuementation with her signature stating where she is saying she is going.
     
  8. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Apr 28, 2012

    In this case, I would have told them both to go sit back down.

    As soon as one student asks to leave, the wave begins. Generally speaking, the first one probably does have to go. The next one just saw the first one leave and so on. When a student threatens to pee his/her pants, I just say that that would probably be embarrassing for them. If it's early in the period and the student asks again later, I'll probably let him/her go, but in general, middle and high school students are capable of taking care of their business outside of class.

    Don't put up with the games.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 29, 2012

    Since this is high school, I would tell them the needed to wait until their next class to go anywhere other than the bathroom.
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I think allowing them to go to the bathroom and the nurse anytime is fine. However, I think it's fine to say no to the counselor.
     
  11. Nitch

    Nitch Rookie

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    Some schools will have it written in the sub folder that students are to be allowed to visit the nurse or the bathroom anytime they ask for sub teachers. It sucks cause you know some are abusing the system. I do the one at a time thing. And if they go to the nurse or the office, I give a call to make sure they show up.
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 30, 2012

    My policy is no kids are allowed out during the first or last 20 min of class. And during the middle part only 2. No excuses.

    But it was school policy at my last school to let kids out to see a counselor or to go to the office.
     
  13. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2012

    It's probably a good idea in a high school classroom to lay out your bathroom policy at the beginning of class. In sub situations when I was in HS, lots of students took advantage of the sub's permission to use the bathroom, and they were inconsistent by giving permission to everyone for the first half of class and no one during the second half. Really annoying if someone actually has to go.
     
  14. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2012

    long ago when I was a sub I let them go one at a time...worked great, especially the one time when someone left and didn't come back for about 30 minutes, and these two girls really had to go...kept saying "you can go as soon as the first guy comes back..." When he finally came back, they had completely directed their anger towards him instead of me...and then I let them go to the bathroom - one at a time...

    I still keep the one out at a time policy to this day as a regular teacher...has worked extremely well for me.
     
  15. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche Companion

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    Apr 30, 2012

    In the district where I live, there was a major issue with a teacher not allowing an elementary student to go to the restroom. All of the elementary teachers now allow students to go both to the restroom and nurse whenever they ask.

    Big difference from when I was in school. I think I asked to go to the restroom and nurse a total of about 5 times from K-12.
     
  16. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I totally understand your dilemma because it's something that anyone who's subbed would know. With HS in particular, it's hard to know. Because policy dictates a certain way of doing things (i.e. no unnecessary trips). However, the reality is that many many HS teachers don't follow that rule. In fact, in my experience, lots of HS teachers operate as if they are some adjunct to the school... In other words, they act like an 400 gorilla, and make their own rules with regard to this kind of stuff.

    I've subbed in many a room, where S.O.P. seemed to be kids walking in and out, went in teacher's desk, etc. (Again, one can tell if it's something their trying to take advantage of a sub, or if it's routine).

    And as a sub, you don't really want to come in and be a stickler on rules with students, when the regular program isn't that way. Normally, if they come up to me and ask me to go somewhere, I'll ask them, "what is your teacher's rules on leaving the room." In lower grades, there tends to be some sort of sign-out sheet sort of deal. At the HS level, I've been in classes where they're required to hit a timer, come back, and whatever amount of time they were gone--they would have to pick the required set of weights up, and do some curls!

    Whatever the rules seem to be, I go with it. I do basically the one student at a time rule, unless the class required them to be out of class to do stuff (i.e. journalism). In that case, I'll have them sign in and out on a sign-out sheet of my own.
     
  17. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    May 1, 2012

    Good advice given here for HS. However for elementary school, I have learned to nearly always let students go.

    The exceptions are when someone has already just gone and the student is giggling, or when it is obvious the domino affect is taking place.

    Many years ago, a 5th grade student asked to use the restroom for the 5th time in one day.

    I finally told him enough was enough.

    Unfortunately, this student had a problem I did not know about, and he crapped his pants.

    Another pertinent bit of information for teachers to include in their plans is students who have a problem regarding bathroom issues.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    May 1, 2012

    I think teachers need to include this kind of information in the lesson plans. I have a 2 page "procedures" typed up, and it has EVERYTHING there is to know. Then when I'm out, I just have to type up the plans for that day.
    I can always add or change things on the procedures page.
    I think if the regular teacher has something like this, a lot of problems can be eliminated.

    It is also up to the sub to make sure he/she reads it.
    In my procedures I have students collect folders - it's a small classroom, I don't want to be walking around, that close to my students. She ignored this procedure, collected the folders herself, and a guy grabbed her butt.!! There is no excuse for that, but if she followed my instruction, this wouldn't have happened.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    The high school I attended (and later subbed in) had a school-wide bathroom policy. I'm pretty surprised to hear that is not normal.
    Our agendas had a 'pass' section. There were two slots per class, per marking period. So, you had to use them wisely. This counted for bathrooms, lockers, office, counselor, library, etc... Once you used that quarter's passes in a particular class, you were done. You could beg a friend to use theirs (this was common and not monitored much). Honestly most students abuse this. I probably used about 5-10 passes per YEAR (6 classes x 2 passes x 4 quarters = 48 possible passes), and this included when I forgot something in my locker and had to go back.
     

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