bathroom policy problems

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Sep 5, 2009

    My policy was always to sign out and sign back in. One boy and one girl were allowed to go at a time and take a pass. I realized after the first week that some kids were gone for up to 20 minutes at a time multiple times a day. Some kids were gone six to eight times a day. So I restricted bathroom breaks to one in the morning and one in the afternoon. We go as a class. If they have to go outside of that they can go during lunch and recess and waste their own time. My kids seem to think bathroom is play time and are causing trouble in the restrooms when I let them go alone. Other teachers and the principal are bringing my students back because they are throwing water, soap, fighting, or climbing on stalls! My wooden bathroom passes didn't make it a week because they got swung around and broke. Our bathrooms are on the other side of the school, and I think this contributes to a lot of the problem. Because the kids think I am so far away and won't check on them. I hate doing whole class bathroom breaks because they take away from instructional time and I need every precious minute because my students are lower than I expected in reading achievement.

    I really do not believe in restricting the bathroom so much. I feel like I am constantly saying NO. The kids are starting to figure out that if they tell me their stomach hurts that I will let them out. Or they will ask for water over and go to the bathrooms to play anyway. So now every child has a tummy ache. :rolleyes: But I feel like I can not trust this group at all. This is the most dishonest group of 7-8 year olds that I have ever met. :dizzy: You would not believe some of the sneaky things I have caught them doing! I have called their parents and this has not helped the situation. Last week I had two students get up and run out of my room when I wasn't looking and I had to get administration involved to bring them back to my room.:blush::eek:

    Does anyone have any better ideas?
     
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  3. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Sep 5, 2009

    You may have to bite the bullet and take whole classroom breaks. I hate them, too. But the bathroom is on the other side of the school. You could figure out the exact times that would minimize interruptions, such as leaving for lunch 5 minutes early, or specials, etc. What a pain, but easiest solution.

    Another option is to restrict bathroom breaks for any child who is longer than 5 minutes and who is brought back to the classroom. Those children will go with another teacher's class on their schedule. For example, if teacher A, who teaches 1st walks her class to the bathroom at 9:00, then meet with her and discuss the problem and tell her you'd like to send so and so down there at the same time. Wouldn't those behavior problems love having to go to the restroom with first graders!

    As far as bathroom passes go, do students have to have a pass in their hand when they are in the hallway? If not, tell students that the pass is placed on their desk, they go, when they come back, the pass is placed back with the sign-out book. It nevers leaves the classroom. You can see at a glance where every child is.

    Another option. After you've made a list of the problem kids, see if an aide, a parent, the principal will come down and walk the miscreants to the bathroom twice a day. That would be embarrassing for them. Tell them that this is what will happen if they are late or are caught fooling around. They will have a bathroom monitor walk with them. I'd talk tothe parents first with the child present, and make sure everyone knows what the consequences will be for fooling around in the bathroom.
     
  4. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2009

    I don't think this would work in elementary school, but my friend had a hilarious solution to this problem in his high school math class. Instead of a bathroom pass, the kids had to choose to take either a large rubber chicken or a (never-used) plunger with them. Nobody chooses to go to the restroom unless it really is an emergency. ;) But at that age, they get breaks every hour when classes change, anyway.
     
  5. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2009

  6. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Can you time them?
    Send one kid at a time?
    Give each kid once in the morning, and in the afternoon?
    What about if they go to the bathroom during your time in class, you will deduct the amount of time they are gone from their recess?
    Is there a para who can check them bathroom after your kids leave to track down the kids messing around? I would lay some pretty severe consequences for any damage done in the bathroom.
    If they say they have a stomachache- don't send them out of the room unless its to the nurse. Tell them to get a drink of water and sit at their desk. If it really hurts they will ask again.
     
  7. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    Ask them if they washed their hands afterwards?....that stops the shirker's!
     
  8. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Sep 5, 2009

    This is what we do:

    Each class is assigned a specific time each day to use the bathroom as a class. When we are at the girls' room the boys are reading a book and the girls are reading while the boys are using the restroom. My kids always need something to do. Last year it was ridiculous in the bathrooms. Kids were destroying the bathrooms or fighting. My kids also use the bathroom during recess. They have bathrooms in the schoolyard. Taking the class as a group to the restrooms may seem as a pain, but you can get SSR out of the way. Our literacy block was cut in half due to reading recovery, but still have to get everything done in a smaller period of time.
     

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