Okay, you’ve heard my ranting about pencils, but here is my other BIG pet peeve…
asking to go to the bathroom.
I know, weird. But when a student raises their hand I get excited. I call on them. Oh they are paying attention! They have a question, or a COMMENT, or a correction!!! “Mrs. Ruff I have to go to the potty”. Did you just here my bubble burst? If you are going to raise your hand during a lesson it should be with a question, comment, or correction.
So, here is what I do about it…students don’t ask to leave the room for the restroom or water.
What? A student doesn’t ask if they can leave the room? NOPE! My students do not ask to leave the room.
If a student needs to use the restroom they should wait until the end of the opening or closing, go to the back of the room where I keep a clipboard, sign out, put the bathroom pass on their desk, and leave the room quietly.
I have a form I keep on the clipboard.
Students put the date, their name, and where they are going. There is a column for the teacher. I use this column to count how many times a day the student is leaving my room. I teach the students that they may only leave my room twice. We have a class break in the middle of the morning and they can go without signing out during homeroom. They also get two more sign outs in my team teacher’s classroom in the afternoons. That is plenty of opportunities for the restroom or water.
To make it easier for me to keep track I number how many times a day they have signed out in the teacher column. I also draw a line with a marker at the end of the day to show the start of a new day.
I have two bathroom passes, one for boys and one for girls. I attach a cute little label like the ones below to bottles of hand sanitizer.
The girls put their pass on their desk to leave the room (the boys do the same). Then when they get back they get some “soap” and put the pass back.
The pass serves multiple purposes:
(1) Students are more likely to remember to wash their hands
(2) I know who is out of the room by glancing at the desks
(3) Only one girl and one boy can be out of the room at any time
I have found the sign out sheet keeps students accountable for how many times a day they leave the room and the passes help students keep up with whether there is another boy or girl out of the room. There are consequences for leaving the room more than twice or when another boy or girl is out of the room and the students know it. It normally only takes one time of being given a consequence for the student to learn not to leave the room constantly.
For students with bladder and kidney problems, a doctor’s note causes me to modify the circumstances for that child.
I have created a packet of for FREE here with the sign out sheets and bathroom labels.