We take whole-class bathroom breaks. They are awful. For me AND for my students. I mean, really, who would enjoy standing in silent lines for 10 minutes while everyone in the class takes a turn going to the bathroom? Who would enjoy being told that this is your chance to go? Who would enjoy being told that you have to try?
If only I could send my students to the bathroom whenever the natural need arose…Well, I do [illegally] send them for emergencies, but according to the handbook, no child is ever supposed to go anywhere unaccompanied by an adult. In order for the school to hold up their end of the stick, it seems to me they need to hire a staff member with the full time job of accompanying individual kids to the bathroom. But I guess that’s not on the top of anyone’s agenda–except now maybe Joshua’s.
On Friday, 2 minutes before our scheduled bathroom break, Joshua asks, “Can I go to the bathroom.” I say, “Wait one minute. We’re just about ready to line up to go together.”
25 seconds later, a whisper in my ear. “Mrs. A, there’s a puddle we need to clean up.”
Should’ve let him go.
There really was a puddle. I think I deserve a pat on the back for how impressively inconspicuously I cleaned it up with paper towels under my foot. Joshua was fine; I pointed him to the counselor’s office who helped him get some new clothes. As far as I could tell, not a single other student knew that anything had happened.
But I felt terrible. When Joshua came back, I told him, “Next time, if you really have to go, don’t even ask, just go. I’ll understand.” I hope I hold up my end of that stick.