Bathrooms and consequences

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Question stemming from an issue on a mom group (I know, I know). Mother is confused because her son had to clip down on the behavior chart for needing to use the bathroom during class. Apparently that is the classroom (second grade) policy: Use the bathroom during breaks or clip down in order to go.

    Does that strike anyone else as weird?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Weird, and highly inappropriate...if I was that mother I certainly would be discussing that policy with the teacher/administration.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Agreed - highly inappropriate. FWIW, I am so glad that my son was raised in the "pre clip on behavior chart" era, especially if it includes having to go to the bathroom.
     
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  5. JenEd

    JenEd Rookie

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    I don’t use clip charts. Don’t like them.

    If you don’t want a student using the bathroom during a lesson, then make it a rule that they can’t go. My students know they can’t ask during community circle or during a lesson. They don’t have a consequence if they go. They just simply aren’t allowed to go during those times. Period.
     
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  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I don't deny bathroom breaks. I may request that they wait until after a lesson or an instruction, but if they insist, I let them go. If I notice patterns of avoidance, we have a discussion about it at a later time.
     
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  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Our students are not allowed to go during class. They have to go during class breaks or before/after lunch. They ask sometimes. The answer is no. Our classes are 60 minutes, and all classes are in the same hallway.

    (This, of course, does not apply to students with medical issues or illness.)
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    May I ask what age students you have?
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    11 to 14
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think it is far more important to teach children when to go then to limit how often they go to the bathroom. I find that if you let children go while they are doing work and not when the teacher is giving instructions it works out fairly well.
     
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  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Kind of a big difference between K-2 and MS, I think, in terms of how long one can reasonably expect the students to be able to plan ahead and plan. Additionally, by MS, these are students traditionally changing classes, and going past a restroom. In the primary grades, the students don't have the same luxury of going past a bathroom once an hour. Ima, this isn't a criticism on your practice, because I've had your age group, and they should be able to plan for that passing in the hall break, no matter how narrow. Primary grades who lack the set in stone passing times who find themselves needing to go to the bathroom shouldn't be publicly humiliated by having their clip moved down for all to see. That I have a problem with.
     
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  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I think there's probably more information here. How often does the class take bathroom breaks? If the class was just there, the child chose not to go, and then and 5 minutes later once the class got a lesson started, I'd be more understanding of the teacher's point of view. It drives me bonkers when my students ask to go right after recess and lunch, when they had 45 minutes to use the restroom.
     
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  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I am betting there is more information, but she actually posted a screenshot of the the classroom information paper--and sure enough, it's written down as classroom policy.

    I do think the missing information is probably bad past experience with bathroom needs, possible administrative orders, and hopefully very reasonable break times.

    On a side note, I did get into a debate with a mom who volunteered in another classroom who said it sounded appropriate and reasonable. I brought up my fear of restricting bathroom too much due to past potty accidents, and she said that would just teach the kids a lesson.
     
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  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess that mother would not have been too happy with my reply to her!!
     
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  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I wonder if she would be fine with the "lesson" if it were her child?
     
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  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I can tell you that to this day, my son has never passed a bathroom without going because of an accident at school. The doctor thought that being a preemie probably had something to do with delayed fantastic control, since there were some other neurological deficits that persisted longer than expected. That said, I think some kids can be distracted during lunch and recess, and then have to deal with urge incontinence. My MIL has the same problem - would anyone want to tell her that you can only go at certain times? Not me!! I have too many memories of seeing my son's worried and sometimes terrified face. All I know is that when he said he needed to go, he meant it. You know, he was so proud to be out of resource room by second grade, and able to do what everyone else did. He didn't want people to know that he had been in a specialized classroom, and he didn't want people knowing of his struggles. He just wanted to be a normal student, but he knew to ask what he needed when he needed, and he would have been in a world of discomfort with some of the rules that are mentioned here.
     
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  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I must say, bathroom battles with students was never a hill I chose to die on.

    My students knew they could go to the bathroom anytime except during direct instruction. If it was an emergency, they were welcome to go whenever they needed. Students who abused this privilege were spoken to privately.
     
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  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Key phrase, indeed. Seems so reasonable.
     
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  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    It was probably not a policy previously but since some kids abuse the bathroom pass there has to be some control over who goes and when. They use to have hall monitors in all the schools stationed near the bathrooms so kids didn't fool around and get into trouble instead of actually legitimately going to the bathroom because they NEED to.
     
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  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sure, but I think it's strange that using the bathroom is a matter of discipline/misbehavior rather than a system.
     
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  21. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I haven't used any sort of clip/flip chart in 5+ years, but I do give a small "consequence" for using the bathroom during instructional time. I'm a resource teacher. 100% of my time with students is direct instruction- there is never any time that is just independent work, and they are only with me for 30-40 minutes at a time. Every minute is planned and purposeful. The gen ed classrooms have bathrooms in them, so there is plenty of opportunity to go literally any other time. I have a ton of students who use the bathroom as work avoidance.

    The last few minutes of class is always some sort of academic game- often something like word or math bingo. If a student is swearing up and down it's an emergency, I tell them that they can go, but they'll need to make up whatever they miss during the game time. To me that seems fair and logical, and it cut down on 95% of requests. If it truly is an emergency, they have an out and can go. If you're truly going to the bathroom and not playing around in the hallway, 2 minutes is not much missed work to make up. If per usual they're just trying to get out of work, they're motivated to stay in class instead.

    Of course this does not apply to students who have legitimate medical issues. I do have two students with medical problems and they are allowed to go whenever, and this is included as an accommodation in their IEP and written in my sub plans. Luckily both are responsible kids who don't abuse it.
     
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  22. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    When I 1st moved down south, they had a strict policy on there were to be no kids in the halls except at scheduled times. I had moved from a place that had different thoughts on the issue. I really hated the policy.
    Then 1 day, the sweetest little girl you can imagine, raised her hand to tell me, " My chair is leaking." She was embarrassed and it made me feel horrible.
    The bathroom happened to be across the hall from me, so from then on, I took my chances . I told the kids if they were caught in the hall, they'd be in huge trouble ( I'd have been too probably). They learned to be quick and quiet if they had to go bad enough.
     
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  23. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I sometimes ask certain students (students who frequently ask to go at times that are not ideal or “off-limits”) if it is worth losing a minute of recess. Don’t truly intend to take away their recess time, but it does give insight into how badly they need to go - if it’s just to avoid work or a true emergency. If they tell me that it’s worth losing recess, I always let them go.
     
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  24. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I feel bad for teachers who work in schools with restricted bathroom policies. We all know the students who will abuse the situation, but for the majority of students who are forced to wait unnecessarily, we are only creating problems.
    One example, most doctors will tell you that uti's can occur because we wait too long. As teachers, most of us are well aware of the problems we experience because we don't have the opportunity to visit the restroom when we need to. Making children wait too long to accomplish a normal bodily function, no matter the reason, seems cruel. There are possible emotional problems that can occur, also due to this issue.
    This just seems to be such a nothing issue that we can easily solve so we can move on to more important things.
     
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  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    As wrong as it may be, I sometimes let students go when I am 99% sure they don't actually need to go, at least as far as body waste management systems are concerned. I have had squirrely students where no amount of class brainbreak will help them the way a token walk down the hall to the bathroom will (reasonable time frame and of course good behavior still expected, of course).
     
  26. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This probably makes me sound like a monster, but here it goes anyway...

    One time, my class had earned an extra recess on a Friday afternoon. As we lined up to go outside, one of my students bit another student - yes, bit. After checking to see that the other student was okay, I told the biter that she had to sit out for the entire recess and that it was the consequence for biting someone. She screamed and screamed and screamed. After a minute or so, she started screaming that she had to use the restroom and was going to have an accident. Knowing that this was her M.O., I called her bluff and accepted that I would pay the price if she did indeed have an accident. She continued screaming until I casually asked her, “[Student], if I let you go play for the rest of the recess, can you wait until we go inside to use the bathroom?” She sniffled and nodded her head yes. So I replied with, “Well, then you can wait until we go inside to use the bathroom even if you don’t get recess. Sit back down.” The screaming continued for the entire 25 minute recess, but she did not have an accident. In fact, she magically didn’t even need to go anymore once we were back inside. Imagine that.
     
  27. otterpop

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    :rofl::toofunny:
     
  28. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    The 1 advantage we have on our students. We are smarter. lol! :)
     
  29. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Oct 14, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Yeah, and we've seen it all!!
     
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  30. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 15, 2019 at 5:16 AM

    Sounds rather normal to me. Highly inappropriate, but very normal where I am from.
     
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  31. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 15, 2019 at 5:22 AM

    But during lunch and recess, the student is often very mentally occupied. It isn't until they calm down that they receive the signals they have to go. Add to that not being extremely engaged in the lesson or work for any reason, their body then tells them they have to go. Also, some kids process their food and liquids differently. Some just take longer. So, they have lunch and drink their drink at the end of lunch, play for 20 minutes, and their body processes the liquid 40 minutes after drinking they are 20 minutes into class.
     
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  32. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 15, 2019 at 5:25 AM

    And he would have learned SOOOO much sitting there thinking about peeing for an entire period rather than using 5 minutes of that learning time to go and have the rest of the time to continue learning.
     
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  33. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 15, 2019 at 6:27 AM

    I was reminded of this thread when I was at a PD workshop last week. During the "housekeeping" announcements, the facilitator reminded everyone that we were using the "adult learning model" and that we should feel free to excuse ourselves at any time to use the bathroom, refill our water, tea or coffee, or to stand at the back or side to stretch our legs. I always wonder why that needs to be an "adult" learning model, not just best practice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019 at 6:22 PM
  34. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2019 at 7:02 AM

    It might do me well to consider this.
     
  35. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 15, 2019 at 7:04 AM

    As with everything, there will always be those who abuse the system, but not all that appear to abuse the system are really abusing the system.
     
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  36. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    I've recently discovered I really just need to do a mass bathroom break roughly after post-lunch read-aloud. I think lunch has been fairly digested by then, and that's when all the hands go up.
     
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  37. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Oct 17, 2019 at 7:25 PM

    Ridiculous!
     

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