Bathroom breaks!

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

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    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 Enthusiast

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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 Companion

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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 Virtuoso

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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 Fanatic

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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 Comrade

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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 Connoisseur

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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 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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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

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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 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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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 Connoisseur

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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 Virtuoso

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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 Enthusiast

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  21. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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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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  22. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Adult diapers?? That is ridiculous and it sounds like that school was breaking the law.
     
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  23. TeachDW

    TeachDW Rookie

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    I definitely agree with you. In fact, I suffered Urinary Tract Infection before because I was only able to visit the restroom once during that day. I ended up 4 days hospital due to severe infection.
    Did your school allow it already?
     
  24. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    More often than I care to mention, I go to the bathroom at 6am when I'm getting ready for school and don't get to go till 4pm because I'm just busy with teaching, students wanting to see me for one thing or another at breaks and after school I'm just too caught up with all things that I think I've just trained myself to not drink too much during the day and not go to the bathroom.

    That being said my P and AP are really supportive in the sense that if we desperately need a bathroom break in the middle of a lesson, I only have to ring up the front office and they come supervise the class for 5 minutes while you go. But the bottom line is we never leave a classroom unattended, including getting another teacher to supervise two classes at the same time. If something should happen, it would be all sorts of bad and unfair to put the other teacher in that position.
     
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  25. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  26. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Bless you all! If I need to go, I go! It wouldn't be a pretty sight if I had to wait until my "potty break". :rofl:

    I guess Depends is an option! I can see the commercials for it now...
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    The teachers at my site are really good about watching each other's classes when someone needs to run to the restroom (both teachers will keep their doors open and watch the two classes while the other goes to the bathroom).

    The longest stretch of time anyone has to wait is 2.5 hours--but when you have to go, you have to go. When I was a classroom teacher, my next door neighbor knew my bathroom signal: I'd nod at her, keep her door propped open, and power walk to the office. We didn't even have to say a word to each other!
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I think the problem that I have is the students are all SPED, with literally 1 minute between classes, and not enough aides to go around. They are more than willing to help, but if enough people are out, there is no one to help. Our rooms are not adjoining, so no easy nod in an emergency. I take a lot of kidding about being part camel, but it is simply necessity. Our students can only go one student per gender at a time, called from a list in order requested. This is an environment where we need eyes on students at all times, and that is just a fact. I always try to get out right before I have students, but sometimes that fails to happen.
     
  29. TeachDW

    TeachDW Rookie

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    It's really a hard thing because teachers don't have enough time to do their business. It's just nerve-racking. Some school's restroom policy is just unbelievable.
     

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