When the going gets tough, there's always the bathroom - ProTeacher Community
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##### When the going gets tough, there's always the bathroom

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 c6g Joined: Jan 2017 Posts: 118 Full Member
c6g

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 118
Full Member
When the going gets tough, there's always the bathroom
10-18-2017, 01:04 PM
 #1

I've been noticing this more and more in the last few weeks. We'll be in the middle of an important teacher-directed lesson, often math, and many students will be actively participating. Meanwhile, others will be struggling. I'll ask a question, a hand will go up, but instead of giving the answer, I'll hear, "Can I go to the bathroom?"

The students who are "getting it" usually aren't the ones asking. It's usually the ones who are having trouble, or those who aren't very interested. I always let these kids go, but sometimes, I'll make them try to answer the question first.

When they leave, it's often for a long bathroom visit. I don't say much when they return, but try to get them immediately back into the classroom routine. It's a shame that some kids really don't feel comfortable with the material they're expected to learn, and look for every possible escape instead.

 Sublime Joined: Jan 2006 Posts: 1,117 Senior Member
Sublime

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,117
Senior Member

10-18-2017, 03:57 PM
 #2

Math is also being presented in new ways that are confusing for some but helpful for others. Fraction division for example: 6th grade Common Core is now using picture models that the students have to know how to draw and they must write about how they solved the problems (language arts integration). It's taken some time for me to get used to the new methods. Yesterday several students were asking me why, why, why do we have to do it this way, it's so confusing. What could I say? I told them there is more than one way to solve a math problem and these new ways give them options, etc. Personally I just want to say, "Flip the second fraction and multiply!"

 twin2 Joined: Aug 2006 Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
twin2

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 13,052
Senior Member

10-18-2017, 06:50 PM
 #3

Yes it is sad that they student ask for a bathroom break when they should be participating in a lesson. I sometimes say they can go after we get to a certain point, but usually I just let them go.

 cattleya Joined: Oct 2017 Posts: 36 Junior Member
cattleya

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 36
Junior Member

10-19-2017, 08:57 AM
 #4

I never know if they have an uti or some medical condition. I let them go. The only time I do not is when too many start to ask at the same time. At that point I would line them up and make them all go, then later, continue with math when they are supposed to have "fun time" or something.

 Subinnc Joined: Sep 2015 Posts: 438 Senior Member
Subinnc

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 438
Senior Member
Nope...
10-19-2017, 02:42 PM
 #5

They may not go the bathroom when I'm teaching. Don't even ask. When I'm done and they're doing independent work, that's the time. I tell them if they can't hold it that long, I'm sending them to the nurse, not the bathroom, because there's an issue.

To be fair, I usually do long terms, and they know the rules. I can tell if it's someone who really needs to go. But even in day to day jobs, I tell them they can wait until instruction is over. I'll probably get in trouble for this one day, lol.

 MaineSub Joined: Aug 2013 Posts: 918 Senior Member
MaineSub

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 918
Senior Member
When ya gotta go...
10-20-2017, 03:21 AM
 #6

I'm very careful about denying bathroom privileges, but I don't just let them go without either a question or a reminder--and sometimes both.

My question is usually something like, "Can you wait just a few minutes until...?" (I don't do this in front of the whole class, I walk over to them.)

My reminder is usually something like, "You're going to want to hurry or you'll miss..."

Most of my "instruction" time is done in short bursts, so the majority end up waiting. Those who do go will get some one-on-one time when they return. (For example, if I'm setting up a worksheet and they miss some of that, I'll work with them individually on the part they missed.)

I wish our lesson plans allowed for more "brain breaks." I'd be willing to bet there'd be fewer bathroom breaks.

I also think the kids don't get tired of learning, I think they get tired of being taught!

 KatrynG Joined: Sep 2015 Posts: 236 Full Member
KatrynG

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 236
Full Member
Bathroom breaks
10-20-2017, 12:23 PM
 #7

I sub, so I let them go to the bathroom but I track the names and times. Usually other students will say "there's no going to bathroom during instruction/carpet time!" This is cool, so I make them wait a few minutes until the modeling has been completed.

I generally allow kids to go to the bathroom whenever they ask (unless we've just had a bathroom break!) With math, I've found that students like coming to the board to show their work/answers in front of the class... at least the younger kids do.

I ask a lot of questions to try to make the math more relevant to something they understand, but I have noticed there are a lot of ways of doing math these days.... sticks and stones long division, short division, place value groupings, distributive property, and tallying.... The good news is if there is a name for it... someone has placed it in a video on YouTube!

 Ota Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 6 New Member
Ota

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 6
New Member

10-21-2017, 10:43 PM
 #8

I do not let them go during teaching a lesson. If I can hold it, so can they. Should it be such that they insist they can't, I too send them to the nurse. They are reminded to bring the slip back from the nurse with the nurse's signature. The pass (slip) to the nurse pretty much explains the situation.

During none teaching times or when the lesson is showing a video (especially a boring one), I do let them use the bathroom.

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