Monday, September 19, 2011

The business of bathrooms.

Out loud, but mostly to myself: "Wow, this classroom is a mess."

First grade student: "Because we're working very hard!"

That was said while they were making these, city collographs:

However, that did not make up for the fact that one of my kindergarteners didn't quite make it to the bathroom today.

The kindergarten classrooms are equipped with bathrooms within the room, and (of course) my classroom is not. And (of course) the four kindergarten classes I teach are all right after their lunch. Small bladders + right after lunch = have to pee in art class. Today we weren't even in the classroom for half of class... we went outside to "paint" lines on the sidewalk with water. So the equation was more like: small bladder + right after lunch + playing with water outside = accident.

I reminded the student where the bathroom was, but some students can't even find it when they come from the art room, and this had the added challenge of finding the bathroom from the front of the building, coming from outside. Should have had her take a buddy. She was inconsolable, to the point she would not cooperate with the health tech and I spent thirty minutes of my fifty-minute lunch (first break in three hours of teaching) taking deep breaths with her to calm the sobs, changing her, safety-pinning her into way too large, awkward, ugly, hand-me-down jeans, bagging up the wet ones. To top it all off, her teacher was out with a sub, so she didn't even have a familiar face to return to in her homeroom.

Ultimately, she never went back to class, dad came to pick her up. She's one of three really sweet little triplets-- I teach one of her brothers, but not the other. I can't help but think that she's been traumatized because of my subpar bathroom directions... at least this wasn't one of the instances where I refused a request to go to the bathroom. Sometimes it's hard to tell when students are trying to skip out on the lesson or they really have to go. From here on out I am going to let my kindergarteners / first graders go in pairs, and more often. So far my policy has been: one person at a time and not during instruction or clean-up. I'll make the exceptions for the wee (heh) little bladders. So tricky, this bathroom business!

Also, the attractive bathroom passes I made a mere three weeks ago already look like this:

The top portion of passes has been cut down a few times already because the initial hole I cut ripped from wear and tear, so I've cut new slits and retied the ribbon... but it's cut off the images that were once there. Note to self: no paper laminated passes. Some teachers use cheap plastic flip flops as passes, and I like that idea. They'd be more gender neutral that way, too, because the flip flops would be the same color. One 4th grade teacher hilariously uses old wooden bowling pins. You really gotta go if you're willing to lug that thing around!

I need to buy some Lysol to spray the germies off these things. Every time I touch them I immediately wash my hands to detox. You'd be surprised at the amount of tattles that go like this, "So and so didn't wash his hands!" after using the bathroom. Ew. I'm not sure that I wanted to know that, but thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment