Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Never Ending Bathroom Dilemma

It seems that every year I get a few students who abuse their bathroom privileges. These are the students that suddenly need to go "really bad" at a convenient time for them, like when they are supposed to work. Before I know it, little Suzie has spent the entire work time in the bathroom and because I was busy helping other kids, I failed to notice.

The other typical bathroom caper is the child who needs to go two or three times a day who swears he/she will have an accident if they don't go RIGHT NOW!! Not only do they have to go immediately, but this child will announce the desire to use the restroom in the middle of story time 5 minutes after returning from recess.

Now don't get me wrong, I know there are medical issues that require kiddos to need to use the restroom more often, and kids aren't adults so they don't always manage their restroom usage effectively, but on average, the typical 7 year old should not have to use the restroom at recess, lunch, and three other times during the day.

I feel like yelling out like an evil villain in that deep "I got you" laugh... because, lo and behold, I have solved the never ending bathroom dilemma.

I'm sure this is nothing new, but it is new to me. 

This year I started using bathroom passes. Each child receives 4 passes on Monday. They may use the restroom as needed during class by handing me a pass. Once they are out for the week I start deducting time off of their recess each time they need to go. If their time spent in the restroom was too long (we're talking over 5 minutes and only for kids who tend to live in the bathroom) I take another pass. Of course they can go at recess and lunch for "free". Kids with all 4 passes left get a small token at the end of the week.

It's amazing how well they manage their bathroom breaks now. This may seem trivial or "mean" to the average person outside of education, but I can assure you, no one will end up wetting their pants and more time will be spent learning, which of course is the main objective here!


Mme Jones

This is brilliant! Now I am a rotary teacher so this won't work. But food for thought!

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