View Full Version : "Dings" for Needing to "Go" During Class Time in 2nd Grade
08-20-2011, 12:52 PM
First of all, we do not believe my 6 year old Grandson has IC that we are aware of. I am amazed/appalled however that his 2nd grade teacher will be marking an "R" on his behavior chart if he needs to use the restroom during class time and in addition, he loses 5 minutes of recess time. (all the children treated the same). This also eliminates the child from the reward of "Having Lunch with the Teacher"....one negative will do that during the month.
I suppose I'd never thought too much about this, but now that I've experienced the demon of IC I find this such an unfortunate way to deal with a child who may REALLY have to go to the bathroom at times other than recess/lunch. I am very aware how smart children can be to do anything to get out of class, but in my Grandson's case, it is normal for him to go to the bathroom much more often than the 2 hours between recesses. He does have severe diabetes on both sides of his parents' families so we're watching if we see extreme thirst/bathroom runs. I know the teacher said if there is a problem to let her know, but what about those little ones whose parents aren't aware that young children may have bladder issues also.
Our family has thought back when my Granddaughter, now 18, was treated the in a similar way in Kindergarten & 1st Grade and since her teens, with additional symptoms, we have been putting 2 & 2 together that she may be plagued by this IC also. (She was home schooled from 2nd grade through graduation because she just couldn't "hold" it).
I know my Grandson is a little spitfire and can think up all kinds of things to get into trouble, but I'm just surprised that in addition to them "missing what the teacher spoke about" during the bathroom run, they also miss 5 minutes of recess time....this does not make up for what they didn't learn. No wonder our children may develop disfunctional bladders.
I'm not the ranting and raving Nana, but just wanted to share a little of my concern when there truly may be a need to use the bathroom more often but no definitive reason why other than "gotta go". (Thinking back, my son, now 27, had an embarrassing accident in K or 1st because he wasn't allowed to go). Honestly, I give all you teachers credit for being able to deal with all the interruptions to your teaching, especially with all the demands on you nowadays, and I just wouldn't know how to treat this differently myself but it seems like a harsh way to deal with a natural need.
As I said, I'm very mild mannered, this just struck a sensitive nerve. Thanks for letting me share.
08-20-2011, 01:04 PM
Unfortunately when I was assistant teaching the problem of kids wanting to use the bathroom a lot just to get out of the class/lessons/test etc. was quite high. We also went by the times they 'had to go' like if it was always in their least favorite subject or during tests. Another problem we had was children not using the restroom at recess (because they wanted play as much as they could); so when those students would come back to class it was, "But I really have to go." So we would have to to limit that type of behavior and teach them that recess was also the proper time to use the restroom even if it's not urgent at that time. That being said if there is a legit need to use the restroom a lot we would have parents send a note with their children and it wasn't a problem. When they had to go they were allowed to go. If there is a teacher/school who would STILL mark a child down (or exclude them from rewards) for excessive restroom use even after a parent/doctor note was provided I would take it up with the principal of the school or the district. I am pretty sure that's breaking some kind of law (at least in public schools).
And I don't mean just if they have a major medical condition like IC etc. Even if a kid just has to go a lot (from nerves, stress, whatever) as soon as we spoke with the parents about it we would never discipline that student again. Speaking with the parents also allowed us a chance to see if the parents had taken their children to a doctor etc. so make sure it wasn't anything more.
But a good teacher should be able to tell over time if it's a true "I have to go." or if it's a "I don't like math I have to go." and they routinely go when math is the subject etc.
EDIT: I take this really personally because I was that kid that had to go more than the other kids. Even when I got to middle school I remember crying because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough time to use the restroom between passing periods. It was all about stress to me. Once I got used to my routine I wouldn't have to go as much because I knew I could.
08-20-2011, 02:29 PM
I have to wonder if this is not going at a "possible problem" from the wrong direction --- what I mean is that children should be able to go to the bathroom when there is a need. And if a teacher does see what he/she thinks might be a problem, then the parents can be contacted to ask about whether there could be a medical problem.
08-20-2011, 02:40 PM
I would want to know the 'discipline' system at her grandson's school. If it's a whole reward system based solely on not going to the restroom ever then that is definitely a bad idea. I don't even understand how that would work at all. If it was a reward system for those students who do not choose to use the restroom at recess or only go to avoid certain activities I could understand that. But if it's for all students and/or part of a general 'good-behavior' system that needs to be taken out for sure.
I'm currently teaching elementary school, but I've taught grades 4-12 in my 20 year career. Students leaving class on restroom passes have been a problem at every school I've worked at.
The thing I've seen most at the elementary school is that when there are no limits on restroom passes, then it becomes students leaving class one right after the other. They also then feel no need to go during recess, play the whole recess, and then want to go within minutes of class resuming.
I tried last Spring, not having a consequence for my elementary school kids, and it became a repeated problem of 10-12 students leaving class every morning between recess and lunch. It is a liability issue for the teacher, who has to remember at all times exactly who has left the room and how many minutes they are gone (in case something happens to the child outside/in the restroom during unsupervised time or in case of a school wide emergency). If students vandalize the bathroom or other part of the school, the judgment of the teacher in letting the student out of class is called into question. And of course, there's the distraction factor, to the child and his/her peers with students coming & going.
At the middle school and high school, we had awful problems with unlimited bathroom passes - students having sex in the bathrooms (yes, disgusting, but it happens a lot), drug deals, assaults, graffiti, feces smeared on walls, fire-setting in the trash cans, students entering other classes and causing problems. I wish I could say that these things were infrequent, but they weren't. And ridiculously, having a policy of 10 minutes after school for a restroom trip, stops a lot of it. (No one said teens were logical.)
My current policy is that my fourth graders get to use the restroom during class up to 3 times a month. After that, they can still go, but it "costs" them recess. And it's very clearly stated that if they have a medical note on file with me (can be from their parents) that says they need to use the restroom more frequently, they can go without loss of recess. I've had to tell the kids that I have a medical note on file, so I can have the 2 extra restroom trips I need. (A teacher's aide comes to my room for 5 minutes so I can run to the bathroom.) I don't consider it a behavior problem if they go, so there's no reward for "not going" or consequence beyond the time "pay back" at recess after the third trip per month.
There's no perfect solution to this problem. I wish it were an ideal world where I could just let any child go when they want/need to go, but it's not.
08-20-2011, 06:53 PM
I'm a 2nd grade teacher, and I always let children go to the restroom when they need to go (and most of the teachers at my school have the same policy). I tell them to make it quick, and they almost always do. I've never really had a problem with kids trying to go to the restroom to get out of class (but I try to make class fun, and most 7-8 year olds love school anyway).
Consider having a conference with the teacher to explain the situation. I had a girl in my class last year who was on Lasix, so she went to the bathroom several times a day. I told her all she had to do was wave at me when she was going to the restroom (that way she didn't have to interrupt me when I was teaching or working with another student). Maybe I'm extra sensitive to the issue b/c I know what it is like to have to "go."
09-02-2011, 08:50 PM
Before I knew I had IC and before I had it bad I was afraid I wouldn't have time between classes (and I usually didn't) because several times it would spasm a bit and I had to stay sitting for 4 minutes or so to relax it before getting up, coupled with being a girl, so I'd be late to class. This lead to me not using the restroom at school and though it never hurt me too bad it can lead to more infections for those who are prone.
I wish they'd have more time in between classes.
The high school I used to teach at just reduced their passing time between classes from 10 minutes to 7 minutes. Administration said there were too many fights and gangs assembling between classes and too many kids wandering the halls because they insisted they had "enough" time to walk around with friends rather than going straight to class.
I predict they'll have to change it back soon. Not all the halls had bathrooms, many bathrooms were in poor condition without all stalls working (vandalism and poor district maintenance), and the lines of kids waiting were bad even with a ten minute passing period. I doubt they can make seven minutes work and it will punish the "good" kids for the actions of a limited number of others.
09-03-2011, 04:30 PM
Not to mention if they have to access lockers during this period too. I carried 5 books constantly so I would have time to go to the bathroom. It's probably why I have lower back pain now.
and you can forget about asking to go get your book once the bell has rung.
True, didn't even think of the lockers...
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