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Cayo Cayo is offline
 
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Cayo
 
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How many times a day do you hear this?
Old 02-02-2017, 05:22 PM
 
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"Can I go to the bathroom?" And how do you deal with multiple requests during classtime when the teacher has not left a specific procedure for allowing kids to go?

I ask because I had a third grade class today with either the weakest kidneys ever or the greatest desire to skip out for a few minutes. I reminded them first thing that bathroom visits should be saved for recess and lunch, but they paid no attention. Fully half the class asked to go before recess and the other half between recess and lunch. The frequent interruptions with kids asking to go made teaching difficult, and when I pointed out that recess or lunch was in a few minutes, suddenly everyone had an emergency and had to go immediately.

Is this a problem you encounter frequently? If so, how do you deal with it?


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Mikhail Mikhail is offline
 
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Yes
Old 02-02-2017, 06:27 PM
 
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I let them go so long as it's one out at a time. I don't want anyone getting an accident. I know what that's like so I let a kid go.
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BayAreaSub BayAreaSub is offline
 
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My first words are:
Old 02-02-2017, 06:35 PM
 
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"What is the classroom rule about leaving class to use the restroom?"

Someone always pipes up that the student needs to clip down, or hand over a classroom dollar, or sit for 5 minutes of the next recess. I ask if they are willing to pay the price, or do they think they can wait until the next break. That is often enough. If they really have to go, they don't mind paying up.
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twin2 twin2 is online now
 
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When I sub in younger grades
Old 02-02-2017, 09:18 PM
 
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I usually do a couple of table breaks because our students are discouraged from requesting a break during lunch, special, and recess since subs do not have access to the locked doors without asking a staff member to open the door. For the older kids, I usually let them go one or two at a time as they ask.
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:21 AM
 
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If they're doing individual work, I don't mind, but I try to discourage it during direct instructional time if I can. If they all start asking at the same time in an elementary school classroom, I have them line up, and we walk as a class to the bathrooms.


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Subinnc Subinnc is offline
 
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Whole group
Old 02-03-2017, 04:51 AM
 
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In the middle school, each class has a designated time to use the restroom as a whole class. They know the routine and are used to it. I allow them to go at random times as long as I'm not doing any direct instruction. Just like how in elementary school no one wants to be responsible for accidents, in middle school, I don't want to be responsible for "female" accidents.
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:46 AM
 
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Bathroom Sign out sheet will stop this real quick.

I have my own bathroom sign out sheets that I use. I tell the students that I'm leaving it for their teacher.

Suddenly they don't have to go as bad.

They also sign out to go to nurse and guidance counselor and anywhere else they ask.

I leave those sheets as well.
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:08 PM
 
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If there is one thing that Kindergartners and high school seniors have in common, it is the reality that subs will often get two to three times the restroom requests that the regular teacher gets.

Usually the requests are still not excessive, but when the domino effect kicks in, I will start recording names for the teacher, which usually slows down the requests.

I learned many years ago to rarely say no.

Many years ago, a 5th grade student asked for the fourth or fifth time in the afternoon. I finally told him he would have to wait this time. When I did allow him to go after the wait, I learned he expelled a load in his pants on the way to the bathroom.

The only time I will say no is when I am convinced it is merely the domino effect and the student is smiling when they ask. I tell them I will let them go soon, but to wait a little while because I have received too many requests recently. Even then I will allow them to go if they say they are desperate.
Yesterday I was in a high school class at a school where I have recently become a highly requested sub.

I was a bit uncomfortable with the strictness of the plan, which included in bold type that students are not allowed to go the restroom or get a drink.
This disturbs me because I know what it is like to be suddenly desperate, so I decided to defy the plans.

I informed the students what was in my plan, and even put in on the board. Students asked anyway, and I simply told them " You better tell me it is an emergency" and I let them go, just in case it was. There was an average of about three requests per 55 minute periods.

I initially considered telling the students that I will tell the teacher who had the " emergency", but it quickly occurred to me that if I do this, then I am admitting to her that I defied her plan, so I had better not in case she expected me to follow this rule without exception.
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:55 PM
 
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I only sub for the younger grades. I ask the students is it an emergency because I am keeping track of the students who are going.
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:28 AM
 
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At least three times per class. I just let them go (I sub for high school, so direct instruction is rare), as who knows if they really DO have to go. I have been in that position before when I went to school where the rules of my school said no bathroom at all during class, and I REALLY had to go. I would have never made it to the end of class if the teacher wasn't generous and let me go anyway.
Therefore, unless it's really important they don't leave the room, I let them go. I keep tabs on time and make sure they return though, and report it if they don't. If a teacher does have that bold no bathroom wording, I am more cautious, and let them go on an emergency basis. Like I said, things happen. I don't like doing it, but there are times when it happens.

And as for multiple kids at once, I let one boy and one girl go at a time, more than the one only if it is an emergency. It hasn't really been a problem that way.


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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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One thing I might add...
Old 02-04-2017, 03:18 AM
 
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I do think we need to be cautious about saying "no," especially with the littles. In addition to the one-at-a-time, not while I'm instructing, etc. I add one thing--at least to the extent possible.

I always make a brief statement like

"Hurry back or you'll miss..."

"Hurry back, we need you here because..."

"You'll need to really focus when you get back... I expect..."

If it's not too disruptive, I might on occasion acknowledge a student's return with "Glad you're back; we missed you."

It doesn't sound like much, but I think it does have an impact. Sometimes the short bathroom break means they actually concentrate better... in the absence of it they'll sit and fidget. The same issue arises with "Can I get a drink?" with kids who don't have a water bottle.

We're not there to control the kids; we're there to teach them. I subscribe to the "shared management" philosophy.
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Kailey123 Kailey123 is offline
 
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:37 AM
 
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I only sub in elementary so I let them go. The only time I say no is during morning meeting, because I have *just* told them to go before that or wait till after. Also I'll say no if I'm right in the middle of teaching something to the whole class. But that's pretty rare in elementary since so much of teaching is centers and moving around doing stuff. I do have a one boy and one girl rule though, and I do keep a sign out sheet so I can keep track of that. -- We once had a sub in the 2nd grade who let NINE girls to out at one time. Seriously. omg. I heard about it because I could hear another teacher telling them off for playing in the bathroom.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:26 PM
 
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When I sub, I do not allow them to use the bathroom during instruction time. If they need to go they can go during morning routines, after instruction/lesson is over. We also do group break before lunch/after lunch. I also allow them to go during recess time. I've found as soon as you don't have any rules for using the bathroom, you get a ton of them wanting to go. I also give lots of reminders to use the bathroom first thing in the morning when they come in, again right before/after lunch and after specials too.
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MissESL MissESL is online now
 
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Bathroom
Old 02-06-2017, 08:14 AM
 
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We take two class breaks each day - one mid morning and one mid afternoon. They're also free to go during lunch or recess.

My rule any other time is:
-you may not go while I'm teaching.
-you may ask to go during "work time," but I have the right to veto.

My own private rule - I generally send them away the first time, but will let them go if they ask a second time. If they ask a second time, they probably really do have to go!
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Shelby3 Shelby3 is online now
 
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my district
Old 02-08-2017, 09:12 AM
 
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INSISTS that subs allow children to leave even though you, I and the class know that it's a dodge. It's assumed that when the teacher returns, the class will return to it's normal procedures and the kiddos won't try to scam their teacher who has more support from parents, admin, etc.
When I sub I encourage the kiddos to only be gone two minutes and make a big deal about missing them. This positive slant works better than negative.
If the teacher has left explicit bathroom procedures in writing, then you have more support. Simply reviewing them with the class lets them know how the day will go. Teachers rarely leave that kind of instruction for me, but it sure helps. If a child "needs" to go frequently, include this in your report to the teacher. It may or may not be a ploy.
At the end of the day, don't let that kind of stuff get to you. Lock the door, and be happy you're finished for the day.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Right on!
Old 02-09-2017, 02:55 PM
 
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Just have to say, "Right on, Shelby3!" I think we need to major in major things and minor in minor. I run a pretty tight ship, but tend to let the small stuff go as long as it's not disruptive or earth changing. I see a lot of teachers (and subs) with what I think are unrealistic expectations around how kids are supposed to act--including when they are supposed to go to the bathroom.

Another piece of this is that the sub often lacks context, so it's very easy to make a decision that doesn't work. We have, for example, one kid who has a very low pain threshold and will even faint. She's not a kid I would tell to suck it up when she gets a boo-boo. :-)

At the end of the day the world won't stop rotating if a kid went to the bathroom too many times. I'm not saying we shouldn't attempt to help them manage it, just echoing the sentiment that we need to lock the door, go home, and maybe have an adult beverage and be glad we don't have to wait for someone to say it's okay for us to go to the bathroom.
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Cayo Cayo is offline
 
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Thanks for all the input. I posted
Old 02-09-2017, 05:54 PM
 
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the question at the end of a particularly stressful day when the bathroom requests were literally non-stop. It was clearly "take advantage of the sub" day. I am not against kids going, but there have to be some limits.

Today I was in a different third grade and had only 3 requests all day. I have a feeling the teacher I subbed for today runs a tighter ship. The kids were much better behaved overall, too.
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