Teacher Bathroom Breaks?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Em_Catz, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    When do you use the bathroom? (sorry for the TMI) but several teachers have been coming down with UTI's which I suspect may be coming from our small window to use the restroom.

    I'm trying to drink water to be healthier and to help me in my weight loss journey, but I find myself avoiding drinking during the day because I'm so afraid I'll have to pee. The way my schedule is set up, I have two breaks, 8:15 and 11:00. After that, no more until almost 3.

    Today was awful because even though I avoided drinking and went to the bathroom at the beginning and end of both breaks, by 1:00 I felt like I was going to burst.

    We aren't allowed to do classroom bathroom breaks, so I can't sneak in and go when the kids go like at my old school. The librarian and the Pre-K class aide have offered to (and have) watched my class so I could run to the restroom, but I feel guilty asking them because I know they have responsibilities and their own stuff to do.

    What do you guys do?
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I have no real advice, but I'm just shaking my head at what teaching has become. This is just...wrong...that an adult in a professional position cannot take a potty break. I wish I had something to help!
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I can go at 7:30, 11:40, and between 1-2. I use the student bathrooms because I can't get to the faculty ones.
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I can go every 44 minutes. That's when class changes are.

    We are not the only profession that has this problem though.
     
  6. Barbd

    Barbd Rookie

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    With my current schedule, It's pretty easy on me since I have 2 classes, break, 2 classes, lunch, 2 classes, planning. Last year though, I was ready to burst somedays because I had no breaks at all after an 11:30 lunch until 3:05 when classes ended.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My schedule is good this year... I go from 9:00-11:00, from 11:30-12:45, and then 1:45-4:00. There's very rarely any time where I'm feeling too miserable.

    There are teachers in my school that have a 4 hour block from 12:00-4:00 though. That would suck.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Em, 11:00 to 3:00 is unacceptable. On my heavy period days, that would absolutely not work. I would need to go twice during that time.

    There are certainly times I need to go and can't. Earlier this week, though, I took the class with me. Could I see students while I used the bathroom? No. But it works and is standard practice at my school.
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    At my old school I would always ask another teacher to watch my class for 5 minutes while I ran to the bathroom.

    At my current school we have 10-15 minute breaks between classes so I always have time.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm lucky in that there's a staff washroom right across the hall from my room. If I'm desperate, I'll ask the teacher across the hall to watch my guys for a minute.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Don't feel guilty for asking others to cover your classroom. When you got to go, you got to go. Other teachers understand. I sometimes have to do that. I try to wait until lunch or when the students are at PE, Music, or Library, but sometimes that is too long of a wait.
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    ...another reason I a glad I did not teach in a public school. I could never wait to take a bathroom break.
     
  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    On half of the days, I can go at 8:15, 10:10, 1:20, and 3:30. The other half I can only go at 8:15, 1:20, and 3:00. Sometimes I get desperate and run between classes, but technically I am on duty and liable for what happens in my duty station at that time.
     
  14. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I have taken the class with me too. However, Most times I can get someone to watch my students.
     
  15. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Well this has taught me that I definitely don't go to the bathroom enough. I never go at school, never need to. I routinely go from 8-2 without needing to go. And I drink a ton of water also.

    But don't feel guilty asking. When you gotta go, you gotta go!
     
  16. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    That's true, though I'm actually a bit more concerned about the administration. I can see someone being like, "Ms. _____'s job is NOT to cover you at 1:00 each day for you to go to the bathroom" or something crazy." So far the aide and librarian don't seem to mind, but I don't want to wear out my welcome.

    Ugh, don't even get me started on "high flow" days. I normally use double protection incase I'm not able to take a break. I don't want to be a trouble maker, but if there's nothing in our Union contract about bathroom, I've been considering speaking to a rep. I'm afraid I am going to have incontinence issues by the time I'm 40 or 50 if I keep holding it
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 14, 2013

    8:25 (right before the kids come)
    9:30-10:30 (varies, depending on my specials that day)
    12:25 (right before I pick them up from lunch)
    3:30 (when they leave)

    The 12:30-3:30 stretch is PAINFUL! I'm always thirsty, and I drink a lot of water, so I have to go about every hour. :(
     
  18. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Why aren't you allowed to take classroom breaks?
     
  19. PinkCupcake

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    This is what we do at my school. I wish we had a restroom on our hallway, but we don't. I refuse to use student bathrooms unless I'm doing some extreme potty dance.
     
  20. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I've been lucky the past few years- I have had enough sped students that I usually have an aide in the room for quite a bit of the day. We don't have specials every day anymore, so having another adult saves me on those no planning days!

    I have had to stand at my classroom door a few times, desperately waiting for ANYONE to walk by who could watch my kids for two minutes!
     
  21. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I will never understand why teachers do not get the same mandated breaks that other employees get. My state requires employers to give a 10 minute break at 2 hours, a 30 minute lunch at 4 hours, and a 10 minute break at 6 hours for an 8 hour shift. Teachers clearly don't get this, and I am not sure how schools are able to get around that!
     
  22. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I go during my planning between 10:10 and 10:55. That usually covers me until 2:55. If I gotta go, I just hold it. I don't have my gallbladder though, if I needed to go something other than pee--then I have to get to the bathroom, no ifs, ands or buts about it. In that case I would just grabbed the teacher across the hall and ask her to stand between the two rooms while I went.
     
  23. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I have breaks at 9:45 and 11:25, and dismissal is done at 2:20. Sometimes I have an additional afternoon break because of PE. Last year I had 3 days a week where I didn't have a break from 11:50-3:30. That was really hard. I drink 32 oz of water at work every day, and more when I'm sick or it's really hot. At my school, we all share an adjoining door with another classroom. It's perfect for situations like this. In an emergency, we can open the adjoining door and the other teacher will watch our class for a couple minutes. The staff bathrooms are very close to my room. Also, I will admit that when I had the longer afternoons I would drink more in the morning than in the afternoon to avoid having to use the restroom. I can hold it for a really long time (sometimes I forget about it...first grade is busy!) but I know that's probably unhealthy...

    This is actually a weird phenomenon for me. I drink a LOT of water in general, and I am constantly needing to use the restroom. My husband teases me about it, lol. At school, I can go much longer stretches without it than in other situations. I really think I forget about it.... :huh:
     
  24. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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  25. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    When I switched back to sped this year literally one of my first thoughts was being happy that I can go to the bathroom whenever I want, lol. Since I have a para I can go every 45 minutes between classes. We trade off who picks up the next group of kids so that we can go to the bathroom if we need too. Last year teaching gen ed my classroom had a connecting door with my teammate's class. We'd ask each other to watch our classes if we needed to. It worked out well for us.
     
  26. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    My planning period is at 2:10 and there are days that I don't get there before then. Not fun, but it happens.
     
  27. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    My room is the old music room, so there is not a general ed room that is close enough to watch my kids. If I have to go and won't be able to wait until my next break, I just book it down to the nearest restroom and tell my kids if I come back to a silent room they get a jelly bean. I've only had to do it twice, and they were really good-they can't see me coming in the hall, so they have to be quiet the whole time to get the jelly bean. I hate doing that, though. My bladder is shot after my pregnancy, though, so there is not holding it.
     
  28. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    This is one area that is really great about my current position. My classroom has a restroom (it used to be used for something else). Since I have classes for 30-45 minutes, I can run and go to the bathroom really fast in-between classes if my next class isn't there yet. Since I'm pregnant, this has been a life saver!

    When I taught in the regular classroom, I was able to go before school (about 7:30), 10:30 (if I didn't have recess duty), 11:15, and then school gets out at 2:15.
     
  29. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    This happens to me too! At home I'll go to the bathroom constantly, but I was always able to wait in the regular classroom. Now that I have a restroom in my classroom, I think I probably go more often than I really need to. It makes you think you need to go when the restroom is easily accessible!
     
  30. chawoonshasha

    chawoonshasha New Member

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    I tend to get one of my students watch class. and tell all of students that I have to go bathroom.

    I know, this is weird.
    But, I think PEE is a one of humanbeing's instinct.
    So I have a right to go bathroom.

    In school, there are two rights.
    One is for teacher and the other one is for students.

    In my Korean elemantary school... even if we are under poor enviroment for students and teachers.....
    we have permission to go to bathroom freely anytime.
     
  31. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I ALWAYS regret not going on my break, even if I don't think I need to, so I try to make myself go. I don't like doing the potty dance at school!

    Does anyone else always have to go on their usual break time, even on the weekends?
     
  32. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Because it takes away from "instructional time". :mad: So the P thinks it makes more sense to let the children run in and out of the classroom all day to use the bathroom, instead of just taking them all for a break before lunch, after recess and once more.

    It's very annoying because as soon as we sit on the carpet and start reading, I have several hands shooting up in the air to use the bathroom. I'm in the middle of math and someone is about to have an accident.

    Once one has to go, they ALL have to go.

    It's so stupid
     
  33. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    God Em_Catz that sucks. I really think that's so unfair. But I think you should ask someone to cover for you and let them know that you will do it for them should they need it anytime! I always wondered about that with classroom teachers.

    (I have breaks in which I could use the bathroom if I really had to because I'm a specialist. I don't drink enough water though so...)
     
  34. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    If the administration starts to complain about you using your fellow staff for the bathroom breaks go to a doctor have the Dr write up a medical need for reasonable bathroom breaks provided at ___and ____time every day. Then the admin can be the one replacing you. The admin will not fight it because if they refuse to cover then if you get UTI the district potentially has to pay for it. If you start having incontinence problems the district will potentially have to pay for it because you have proof a Dr said you medically need this and they refused.
     
  35. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    One of the reasons I was excited to become a Reading Specialist is the breaks in my schedule! I can go before I get another group of kids or before I push into a class. On the flip side, it's no problem for a teacher to ask me to watch her class while she makes a bathroom run.
     
  36. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    It's bad, but I've sorta trained my body not to need the bathroom during the day. However, in an emergency, I do usually have a para in the room so I can pop out for a second. My previous district was insanely strict. Paras could not watch the class for a minute because they're not always certified teachers. This made no sense to me because subs usually weren't certified teachers either and they would be with the students all day. Anyway, if I had to use the bathroom, I had to call down to the office on the intercom. Then they would try to locate a teacher on prep time to come up and cover for me. How embarrassing would that be? Plus, it would have taken some serious time when a teacher was having a bathroom emergency. Fortunately, I never had to do it.
     
  37. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    This is one of the benefits of co-teaching!
     
  38. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Using the bathroom

    I never heard of teachers not being able to go to the bathroom when needed until I joined this site. If I have to go, I go. Yes, I leave my class and go to the bathroom. People have to pee. I am not training my body to not go. I will not have a uti or any other infection because I'm holding it to a certain time of day.
    I don't even use name takers. "Class I'm going to the bathroom, apples will move if your are misbehaving." That's all I say. And no I have never been in trouble with admin for leaving the class to use the restroom. This has been the case for every school I have taught in.
     
  39. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is surprising to me. CA law dictates that in public schools, a credentialed teacher must be in the classroom at all times. We have art and music teachers that are not credentialed, and I have to remain in the room while they're in there, even! A TA cannot watch my class with a closed door either. A credentialed staff member must be in the room (or in the other room with the adjoining door open and a line of sight to both classrooms) at all times. I would be in serious trouble if I left my class unattended. I understand it to an extent (though I think the art and music teacher thing is a little silly..they may not be credentialed, but they are adults who are cleared to work with students!), because if I leave the room and something happens, I am completely liable.
     
  40. janis

    janis Companion

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    You're not allowed to have class bathroom breaks??? That's insane! What age is this? I always just take my class when I have to go.
     
  41. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Just curious...How do you take your entire class to the bathroom with you?
     

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