restroom breaks

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by MrT, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. MrT

    MrT Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2006

    At first when I started subbing I would let kids go to the restroom when they wanted to, then I started becoming strict and wouldn't let anyone go unless they were dancing the jig.

    I had a class friday that was pestering me like crazy to use the restroom. I kept telling the students I wouldn't allow them to use the restroom, but they kept pulling my strings anyway.

    One girl kept pestering me persistantly. She told me "I have to use the restroom and on the way I have to stop at my locker." I told her if it was such an emergency she wouldn't need to stop at her locker. A boy behind her started laughing " dude! You totally don't understand why she needs to go to her locker before she uses the restroom?" He raised his eyebrow and gave a smile. I felt like such an idiot.

    Realizing then it was her period, I let her go. Shortly after three girls in the class started laughling and told me " Oh ya we need to use the restroom too, it's a girl thing." I made them sit in the room the rest of the period. They were gigling and laughing, persitantly teasing me the rest of the period. I became angry and wrote their names down for their teacher, but this only made them laugh even more.

    In our sub mannual it states sub's should not allow students to use the restrooms at all, unless under extreme circumstances. How do you distinquish between extreme or not? It is a lot easier to tell if a boy needs to use a restroom or not, he starts doing the jig. Girls are not so obvious in their body language.
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Nov 18, 2006

    It' s unreasonable to expect a sub to not let the kids use the bathroom. I Use your judgement, and when in doubt just let the kids go. I wouldn't let 2 at a time go. Try to have them write their names down on the board or paper before leaving that way you can see just how many times one person has left the room
     
  4. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2006

    I can't find it in my sub manual, but at orientation we were told NEVER to deny a child to go to the bathroom. They said this was regardless of the teacher's policy. I'm uncomfortable denying a child incase they have to go. I've had personal negative experiences when denied. Yet, sometimes I know the kids are just time killing.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 18, 2006

    I never deny a child permission to use the rest room. And you must keep in mind the age of the girls.
     
  6. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Nov 18, 2006

    I've read somewhere too that teachers...sub teachers too...should never deny a child access to the bathroom. It's ok to say "Wait a minute or two unitl I'm finished explaining...." whatever it is. Besides, when that parent comes blazing in to complain to the principal of how their child now is in distress ove what you did...well...it's just not worth fighting and trying to win the battle over the bathroom thing. All you can do is try to monitor or maybe just take the entire class...yes...even if it's upper or high school. Better than being bothered about it all period. Spend 7 minutes and get it over with.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Always check the teacher's substitute's folder and the school policies as well. In our school the students must use the restroom between classes, and the restrooms are LOCKED during class time. If a student must go during class, they have to have a note with the time/date/teacher's signature and they have to go to the office restroom where they have to sign in to use the bathroom. It's such a hassle that the kids who really, really need to go are the only ones who will bother.

    We also have some students that are on "no go" restrictions, which means that they cannot, under any circumstances, leave them classroom without supervision. Then this year I have one with "urgency" issues, and when she's gotta go, she's gotta GO . . . and she doesn't even have to get permission first. She just GOES. Then she brings back a note from the office.

    Restoom visits are tricky!
     
  8. ryman

    ryman Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I have a log sheet where I track every individual who leaves the room and why, including time out and time in. This way the teacher can see if the students are taking advantage. I've seen that some teachers take away extra credit points for students leaving class. Seems like a good idea.

    I don't deny bathroom breaks unless there's less than 10 minutes left in class. I think of it this way: If a student is gone to use the bathroom it's one less student I have to worry about.

    As an aside it reminds me of something I read in a sub manual, "...a sleeping student is a quiet student." A blessing in disguise. Sounds horrible, but makes sense.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Be VERY careful there! If a student is supposed to be under your supervision at that time, they're still your responsibility if they're gone somewhere! (Hence the "no go" kids we have . . . they can't be trusted away from direct supervision.)
     
  10. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I let them go............. one at a time.

    Major Hunt
     
  11. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I agree with what Ima_Teacher and ryman said. Since different schools have different policies, there must be a variety of different approaches to restroom usage out there.

    My manual says to be very wary of students that ask to use the restroom at the very beginning or end of the period. Most middle and high schools around here have some kind of ten/ten rule, which disallows students from leaving the room during the first ten minutes or the last ten. (This was actually something ryman was describing.) It seems to be a great policy.

    I never totally deny a student's need to use the restroom though. When you have to go, you have to go. However, I ask them to wait a little bit or tell them that I have to do some work first. I have found that students that genuinely need to go will ask again.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 19, 2006

    How about this: you let them go (one at a time, of course!) but they HAVE to pay back 10 minutes after school.

    If it's not an emergency, they'll stay in the room. If it is, they'll do whatever they need to in order to go.

    And you have my sympathies. What an awful situation!
     
  13. Btownsub

    Btownsub Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I've had the same issue. I allow students to go, but I tell them that I will inform their teacher how long they were out beforehand. I also make sure that they do not take anything (i.e. backpack, notebook, IPod) with them. If they are the type of student that looks like they are just trying to get out of class, I pick a certain amount of the in-class assignment that they must complete and show me before they will be allowed to leave. And, like everyone else said, I never let more than one out of the classroom at a time.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Sometimes that purse/backpack is vital in the ladies room.
     
  15. Btownsub

    Btownsub Rookie

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    I understand that sometimes the young women might need a purse, but they do not need their purse, backpack, notebook, pencil and best friend to accompany them to the ladies room. If they "need" their purse, they can definitely leave me with something so I know that they won't just take off. (Which has happened often enough that it inspired the "leave something if not everything" rule.)
     
  16. ryman

    ryman Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2006

    You all bring up an interesting point. What can they take with them? I never let them take backpacks, and of course no buddies. I also make sure they have a pass in hand stating where they are headed to and from (in pen). It also includes time out.

    Younger kids (k-1st grade) often have classroom buddy policies. It scares me to send them out at all, though, being so little.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Nov 20, 2006

    Our students are not permitted to have bookbags, backpacks, or purses with them in the classrooms. If they need something for the trip to the restroom, they simply stop by their lockers on the way to the bathroom.
     
  18. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    I think the 10/10 rule is a great idea! I'm new to the school system this year, and I do a lot of moving around. I'm a TA, and sometimes I feel like a sub. We go to different classes in a pinch. A lot of kids tend to take advantage of the fact you don't know the teacher's policy on RR breaks and such. I'll try that procedure next time I'm in a different room. Thanks!!
     
  19. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    I am in an elementary school - we have a rule that the kids can get bathroom and drink breaks between 2&3 period in the morning and then between 6&7 period in the afternoon.
    If they ask in between, then we ask them to finish what they are working on first.
    I do notice that there is a problem with kids asking to go to the nurse - "my lips are chapped", "I have the hiccups", "I'm sneezing a lot" - most of the time I just ask them to hold off for a while, and they generally forget. Like someone else said, if it is really a problem, they will ask again.
     
  20. rlbbas123

    rlbbas123 Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2006

    When I first started subbing I didn't understand the bathroom breaks policy either. The students would come ask one after another,and ask if they could use the bath room. I would always let them go especially if I thought it was a real emergancy. I finally asked the office if I could have a copy of their schools policy. I realized that we could allow them to go to the restroom, however, they had to serve 15 mins of detention. So now when they ask, I will always ask them if this an emergancy, if they say "yes", I ask for their name and remind them they will have to serve their 15 mins. Sometimes they go but most of the time, they say they can wait. :)
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We, too, have the 10/10 rule schoolwide. It's a big help! With the 10/10 rule, my "no restroom during instruction" rule, and the hassle of going to the office for the bathrooms because the others are locked, only the ones who really, really need to go actually do.

    One of mine just went a minute ago, and it was probably more for the need to be up than anything. She's in my long class, and she'd been reading for 30 minutes, and I could tell she was getting restless. I let her go. The walk to the office was probably all she really needed.
     
  22. bronaghjordan

    bronaghjordan Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2006

    one at a time nd keep a log its all u cn do really u cnt deny them especially nt teenage girls!
     
  23. Like2Teach

    Like2Teach New Member

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    I don't know where you are in Kentucky, but I suspect that you are in one of the counties where I have taught! In this county, kids are not allowed to have backpacks,etc, and girls were not supposed to have purses. I guess the reason for this is security, but I think it is still wrong! Girls need some way to protect their privacy when they have their period, and often in some schools the lockers may be all the way at the end of the other building!

    In one (large) county, we were not supposed to let the kids go to the restrooms during classes. I really tried to enforce this my first year and it was a MAJOR pain! They really did not have time to go between classes, and sometimes a body just has to potty! I finally decided that I would rather get caught letting kids go than to fight all the time. I got two passes, one boy's and one girl's. Kids could sign on the board for the pass. If thepass was out, you had to wait your turn. If too many kids wanted to go, I'd just take the whole class. This made for much happier kids and a happier me, and I never did get yelled at by the administration. I did get yelled at by the team leader once, but she was a real b****, so I really did not take it personally!

    Now in another county and in elementary school instead of middle school, it is much less of a problem.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    PM me and let me know where you've taught. You may have been here.

    We're just one building, and all of the kids have classes in the hallway where their lockers are located for 4 to 5 of their 6 classes. We discussed the location issue when making the rule.

    When we first implemented the "no restroom during class" policy at the END of the year last year it was a major riot because we were "taking away" something from them . . . although the majority of the teachers didn't let kids go much anyway. This year we STARTED with the policy and they didn't question it. The "taking away" part gets them more than the fact that they can't go. Middle school kids are funny that way.
     
  25. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    Nov 22, 2006

    It's a tough judgement call when you're a sub.

    I try to make a policy of one-at-a-time. Other than that, sometimes you have to go with instinct decisions about where you are. We don't have the luxury of knowing the students as well.:)
     
  26. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Dec 18, 2006

    I always let girls go to the restroom but one at a time. With boys i do the 10 minute rule. I tell them to wait 10 minutes. If they ask me agian then I let them go. Signing them out is also a good idea. Terry G.
     
  27. lajoers3

    lajoers3 Comrade

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    I have never thought about having to worry about students with their period - because I have been teaching mostly younger kids. However, I must say that as a woman I know that if you need to go for that reason then you just can't wait. I know that once when I was working at a lovely Christian school (my favourite school to sub at) I was in class and realised I had my period. I had to get out of the room and straight away. Luckily I was near the office and I sent one of the kids to get the office lady who gladly came to help. I didn't explain why I needed to go to the toilet straight away but she gladly helped me out in a bind. If she hadn't things may have been an embarrassing mess. As for allowing kids to go to the toilet I usually ask them to wait if they can. Younger kids must go in pairs and older ones depending on the schools policy could go alone or in pairs. I don't like sending a child out if i'm instructing but it's a bit of a judgment call on whether it's urgent or not. I'd hate for a child to wet themselves or whatever because they couldn't hold it.
     
  28. Waiting 4 Cert

    Waiting 4 Cert Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2007

    Bathroom rule in FL

    Hi,

    I'm a long term elementary sub. I started out letting kids go to the restroom whenever they wanted but now, I have a "bathroom schedule" and no one (except for medical exceptions) is allowed to go to the bathroom under any circumstances outside of this schedule;even if they are dancing the jib. The official rule is not to allow unless it is a "state of emergency" but be sensitive to girl requests if they are of the age.

    School starts at 9 a.m. - kids start coming into the classroom at 8:30. Kids are allowed to go between 8:30 and 8:50 b/c there is no real instruction taking place. Lunch is from 10:30 to 11:03, kids are allowed to go to the bathroom immediately after lunch. I take them to the playgroup between 11:15 and 11:30. They can go to the bathroom after recess. They are not allowed to go to the restroom again until 2:00. They may be excused between 2:00 and 2:15. After that no more bathroom for the rest of the day. School ends at 3:15

    I find that they are okay with that schedule.. each time we go to the restroom and people say "I don't have to go" .. I say, have a serious talk with your bladder b/c this will be the last opportunity for a couple hours.. the kids laugh but it motivates them to go.

    It also helps that the other grade level teachers support this plan. It is not exactly what the previous teacher did (only two breaks - one in the morning and one in the afternoon) but it cuts back on constant requests to leave.

    Hope this helps.
     

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