Would you have handled this differently?

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by Missc89, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. Missc89

    Missc89 Rookie

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    After lunch a few weeks ago the class were misbehaving lining up for the toilet. I told the class that if they didn't start behaving on toilet time I would take away their toilet breaks. The following day a 2 girls were chatting and playing around in the line for the toilet, so I pulled them aside and told them they had lost their toilet break and would have to wait until home time, they complained saying they were desperate, I said it was tough and made them wait 2 hours.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I would absolutely have handled it differently. I would recommend that you never take away restroom breaks as punishment. I would have separated the offending children, or sent them individually to the bathroom.
    Sometimes I have lined up the children in boy, girl lines and then sent a misbehaving boy to the girl line and vice versa. Other times I have instructed everyone to bring a book and read while they were waiting in line. If the children were young enough we would play the silent game in line. I have also made students go to the end of the line.
    So, there are alternatives to denying them the use of the restroom.

    It also avoids the stink you will inevitably hear when parents find out that you are denying restroom privileges.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Making people wait to go can cause medical issues and bladder infections. A friend's child ended up with one because of denial of bathroom breaks. It might be one thing to make them wait till everyone else has gone and the child is the last to go in but to make them wait until the child gets home is cruel. I know that is harsh, but so is making someone wait 2 hours to use the restroom.
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I would recommend a standard penalty unrelated to restroom use. It might help, especially since you are now going back on a previously stated procedure, to discuss this penalty with the class, but at the same time, being cautious not to single out the two recent offenders. Physical punishment can result in a lawsuit, and building up barriers between you and the parents can diminish how much a child succeeds throughout the rest of the year.

    Talking and playing in line, depending on your school's policies, might need to be restricted, but talking and playing during appropriate times are also vital to proper intellectual and social development. Stand a group of adults in line. Do they stand like soldiers?
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  7. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    I agree with the others. Find a penalty unrelated to the restroom. Give them something to do while waiting (book to read, carry an iPad with flash cards, something.) So many great ideas! :)

    Also, as a related note, some girls in fourth grade have started their cycles or are getting ready to. Just something else to keep in mind.
     
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  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This was inappropriate. Withholding the right to take care of bodily functions can lead to embarrassing accidents, health issues....
    I would separate those with behavior issues in line...put some good role models between them. Also, you probably need some halllway mgt idea for such times. Play the quiet game, or a whispering game of sparkle.
    Did you get complaints from parents?
     
  9. Missc89

    Missc89 Rookie

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    No I didn't get complaints and both girls were fine and held on until hometime
     
  10. Missc89

    Missc89 Rookie

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    They are 9 and 10
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    By fine you mean they didn't pee on the floor?
     
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  12. Missc89

    Missc89 Rookie

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    Yes, I meant they didn't pee on the floor, nor did they request to go again
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Not requesting to go again doesn't mean they were fine. I would have never asked to go again as a child. I would have just prayed I didn't wet myself.
     
  14. Missc89

    Missc89 Rookie

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    So they had to sit with their legs crossed for the afternoon. Maybe they will learn to act appropriately during bathroom breaks from now on?
     
  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That's a very inappropriate attitude to take on the situation. I won't repeat what others have already told you about it being cruel and unhealthy, but, to answer your question, YES, I would most definitely have handled it differently.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Must you do whole class bathroom breaks at this level? In some ways, I understand the premise with the really little ones, although, even our grade 1 classes only do whole class trips for hand-washing before lunch. You may be able to eliminate much of the misbehaviour if only one student is out of the classroom at a time.
     
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  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh honey, no.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I'm actually curious about this - and maybe I should start a new thread, but it does seem to fit in with this one, sort of...

    I have always been of the mind that whole class bathroom breaks are a waste of time. As a human being, myself, I don't enjoy being told exactly when to use the bathroom, because my body just doesn't function on someone else's schedule all the time. I have to go when I have to go, not when someone else says it's a good time to go. As a teacher, I don't like wasting instructional time to take the whole class to the bathroom and back again.

    However, I now find myself in a school where we are on a schedule with a period of more than four hours before the teacher gets a break. Personally, I usually just can't wait that long to use the bathroom myself, unless I just completely dehydrate myself in the morning. So, this year, I am trying whole class bathroom breaks, along with another class, so that the other teacher and I can take turns watching the other's class while we use the bathroom ourselves. I still hate the waste of time, but I do enjoy the opportunity to use the bathroom without having to bother someone about stepping into my room and watching my class... I don't mind doing that once in awhile, but I'd hate to make that a daily habit.

    Anyway, now that I'm doing these breaks, I find that it's very difficult to get the kids to stay quiet while they wait their turn. I'm looking for game ideas that I can use in the bathroom line. I've heard of the silent game, but I don't know how it works. Bringing books isn't an option because we take our breaks at natural transition times (when we are already coming from or going elsewhere), and having a book wouldn't be appropriate. Any ideas from anyone?
     
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  20. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  21. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This is just plain cruel (coming from a parent of a daughter who was denied bathroom breaks as a very young child and developed emotional issues as a result)
     
  23. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    If the line is not within a quiet zone, I would recommend allowing whispering and the teacher even joining in on some of the conversations.
     
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  24. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    They don't learn control with this kind of punishment. They learn about power and intimidation through fear and embarrassment.
    The OP made a bad choice in how this situation was handled. S/he is lucky there were no parental or administrative backlash and would be well advised to take some of the good suggestions here on how to better manage behaviors.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Have you learned NOTHING from the feedback on this thread? Your choice was bad, unprofessional and intimidating. Be guided accordingly.
     
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  27. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    For example, we hear complaints about teachers having to take direction from administration. We need to teach status to those teachers that don't blindly comply. :)
     
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  28. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    If you were my teacher, I would probably still remember and resent you to this day, and I am in my 20s.
     
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  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Another thing to be aware of,OP, you may have some girls in Grade 4 who start menstruating; denying them access to the bathroom could be devastating.
     
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  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Good point! It's just wrong for so many reasons.
     
  31. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Your intervention/corrective action should be tied to the behavior. It should not be punitive. Peeing and talking involve two different orifices.
     
  32. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    You would because I still resent many of my teachers who regularly made me feel terrible about myself.
     
  33. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Teaching decorum is important. Teaching blind allegiance to authority would trouble me.

    For example, we were trained not to tell children to do what adults say or always follow their instructions because it could lead to sexual abuse. Instead we were taught to teach students to follow reasonable instructions and to teach what reasonable means. I'm talking kids as young as Kindergarten. I think it's an important shift.
     
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  34. Missc89

    Missc89 Rookie

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    Gender is irrelevant, if children cannot act sensibly enough to go to the bathroom then no pee.
     
  35. Missc89

    Missc89 Rookie

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    They should have been at lunchtime anyway
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Your title asks if you would handle it differently. Everyone who responded said yes. I guess you have your answer. Your response indicates you wanted affirmation, not an answer to your question. You may not have had any repercussions from this incident, but I can assure you that if you continue using your current method and disregarding the advice you will most likely find yourself bearing the brunt of a messy situation in more ways than one.

    I feel for your students. There are so many better ways to handle this situation.

    I thought they were supposed to be lined up to go to the restroom? Didn't your set up to this scenario describe lining kids up to use the restroom AFTER lunch? So, which is it? Follow directions to line up for bathroom break or be at lunch?
     
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  37. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I sense you are getting defensive. Some of the comments here may seem as a personal attack at you, but it's not. We don't know you from a bar of soap. You asked for an opinion, but it's not what you expected to hear and you have not gotten the support you think you would have gotten. The tone of some of the replies may even seem harsh. But stop and think for a minute, it doesn't make the advice you have been given here wrong.

    As a classroom management strategy, exerting your power in this way is not going to help you in the long run. They may have to listen to you and not get to pee, but they won't respect you or like you. Yes, it's not our job to be liked, but if students like you as a person and respect you as a person, then they are more likely to behave for you and make your job easier. It's the start of the year, if they dislike you and have no respect for you as a person, then they aren't going to treat you like a human being with feelings. They will go out of their way to misbehave and push your buttons; your reaction is to give more consequences; they retaliate. where does it end?

    Also, if you persist with this, parents are eventually going to get involved. With social media, this could really blow up in your face. You got lucky this time and didn't get negative feedback from parents. It won't always be like this. When a kid have soiled himself/herself because of your policy, crap will literally hit the fan, for you.

    There are so many ways to address the behaviour of lining up properly, some of which have been mentioned already. Try those out, for your sake, if not for the kids.
     
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  38. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The procedure I use is simple. I have a sign-out/sign-in sheet by the door. If a student needs to leave the classroom for any reason (bathroom, drink, visit to the library, etc) they sign out and then back in when they return. If someone is already out of the room, no one else goes without my express, direct permission. If a student asks to leave at an inopportune time, I'll usually ask them if they can wait a few minutes. Usually they can, but sometimes, they just can't, so I let them go. In an ideal world, we would all be like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory and have complete control over our bodily functions, but we aren't.

    I sense that you feel you are being attacked, that certainly was never my intention. You asked for advice, and it has been offered. When something in my classroom isn't working, I think about what changes need to happen so that things run more smoothly. This is the kind of situation that can come back to bite you. Is this a hill you are willing to die on?
     
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  39. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

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    If you must take a matching punishment stance, they did not pee incorrectly. They stood in a line incorrectly and therefore your response should involve the line - not the freedom to pee when needed.

    Granted, I can't believe I just said that, but there ya go.
     
  40. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    If I might add agreement to your comments and some further ideas, self esteem is important, but social skills are equally important. Proper self esteem is not feeling privileged and deserving of special treatment. Proper self esteem is not esteeming oneself as better or more important than others. Self esteem is a fulfillment of one's place in society. Self esteem is not thinking I'm a dummy, but realizing that I am a worthwhile person and an important member of society. My importance does not entitle me to special privilege above others, but instead my importance is my value in society of doing for others.

    Every social group needs rules. I do think the purpose of rules, however, should be to benefit the members of the social group. Penalties are an expected result of infractions to social rules. In a school setting with elementary aged students, social behavior needs to be taught. Children do not need overly harsh penalties to learn proper behavior. They do need to discuss rules (not hear a lecture but discuss) and develop an understanding of why they should change any negative behavior. They need guidance in developing a plan of action for reoccurring situations that lead to misbehavior. They need reinforcement concerning their behavior, not necessarily rewards, but a specific example is when the teacher checks up on the student and they discuss how well her/his behavior has been improving. Rules should be consistent; a teacher is not to be an autocratic boss but the teacher is expected to guide in classroom management and expect adherence to the rules. Personally, and with respect to many fine teachers whom I've observed following an opposite opinion, I see no need to raise my voice to students, with the possible exception of a rare extreme emergency situation. If anything, I speak softer rather than louder. I can speak softly and still firmly insist that prescribed rules be followed.
     
  41. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    If this is indeed a question and not an expression of your philosophical beliefs, then yes preventing the sexual abuse of children is always more important than the feelings of insecure adults.

    Teaching students to question and argue are important skills that need to be developed and fostered.
     
  42. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And again I'm wondering if you've learned nothing from the suggestions here. You asked if members here if we would have handled this differently and the answer is a resounding yes. Yes we would.

    Returning to the long term consequences of policies like yours:
    " Suppressing the urge to pee can damage a growing bladder, thickening and aggravating the bladder wall and increasing a child's risk for accidents, bedwetting, and urinary tract infections.
    Stool piles up, stretching the rectum and pressing against the bladder. Constipation, epidemic among U.S. children, causes increased urinary frequency and urgency and is the direct cause of virtually all bedwetting as well as daytime accidents. Some of these accidents occur in the classroom or on the gym floor."

    Using the bathroom is a biological necessity, not an option to be earned or denied. As many have said here, there are more logical, appropriate and safe ways to handle behaviors.

    You have a choice to be a reflective practitioner and grow, or stick in your fixed mindset that what you did is right because it's what you did.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
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  43. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Well, it is possible they do. If another employee is tasked to do the job every day and every day you have to do their job and your job, yes, the manager does owe you an explanation. If the trash was just emptied 5 minutes before and there is nothing in it, yes, the manager does owe the employee an explanation if they still force them to do so. There are situations where a manager does owe an employee an explanation. If the employee is on break and the manager insists it is done right then, then yes, the manager does owe the employee an explanation. Actually the manager is breaking the law.
     
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  44. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I guess I'm not seeing how it's bad to ask questions about why something needs to be done. If the thing is worth doing, it's worth understanding why.

    Now, if a person is simply being argumentative, that's a different issue: insubordination, disruption, something along those lines. Questioning in and of itself isn't a bad thing, though.
     

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