Bathroom Breaks

I teach at a junior high. Naturally, to 13 year olds, there is nothing more exciting than getting out of class, perhaps unnecessarily, to wander the halls on the way to the bathroom. Therefore, sometimes it seems like we are playing an elaborate game of red light- green light. The teacher says no to the bathroom, the student insists that they really, really need to go. Ten minutes later, the teacher is wondering where that kid is.

What do you do? My first year, I faced a sneak-attack when a series of six boys asked to go the bathroom in a matter of minutes. Shouda seen that one coming. I got had. So how do you allow normal body functions without having half your class ask to leave?


Give passes for the school year in advance– my school gives each student 3 passes a week as a page in their school agenda. A teacher dates and signs the pass when it is used, and after the 3 passes are gone, well, they are gone. These passes count for any need a student might have- bathroom, office, library, water fountain, whatever. I like this method a lot because it also teaches conservation skills. Some kids really use all 3 passes on Monday in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd hour, then are in a tight spot the rest of the week.

If my school did not have this practice and it was up to me to implement it, I have debated how many passes I would give out per week- 1 or 2. I would probably be nice and allow 2. It is always good to have an emergency pass to use, for unexpected trips to the bathroom, plus I like to encourage trips to the library when they are done with their work.

Another tip, a fellow awesome teacher I work with does not allow students who are tardy to go to the bathroom. She figures that if they are tardy then they must have really accomplished anything needed in that extra time. This is also incentive to be on time, which is great too.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: