Teacher’s Corner: Bathroom Breaks

Teacher’s Corner will be an irregular feature containing my mumbling and ranting on issues of education  and people.

The theme of today’s post is probably going to be a reoccurring one: Why are the USA determined to be so horrible? On Twitter somebody posted the following note which apparently was handed to their child:

Note about bathroom use

Mrs. White’s 8th Grade Admin/Bathroom/Water/Nurse Pass

I will only have two passes for the ENTIRE month during Focus, BOTH Math Blocks, Community, Lunch, Restoration, etc.

I understand that once the number is circled, it indicates how many times I have went (sic) thus far for the entire month.

I understand that I need Mrs. White’s signature for EVERY TIME I leave to go to the Bathroom, Nurse, speak with Admin or to get water.

I understand that once I have used my 2 passes for the ENTIRE month, I will not be able to go to the restroom, get water, or go the nurse (sic).

I understand that only special accommodations will be made if my Doctor writes a note regarding a medical condition.

I understand that failure to comply with the Bathroom/Water/Nurse Pass will result in an Automatic Detention and a zero on whatever assignment I decide to walk out on.

I understand that Ms. White is petty and although we both have options, I can be denied going to the bathroom/water/nurse during the lesson.

 

I mean, WTF?

As a teacher, I know that “the potty goer” is a nuisance. It is disruptive in class when every other minute somebody asks to leave, leaves, comes back, etc. That’s why we encourage our kids to use the breaks, which are, btw. included in this bathroom pass. We have two big breaks of 20 minutes between 2nd and 3rd, and 4th and 5th lesson, and short five minutes breaks between the other lessons. And still we don’t deny our kids bathroom breaks. At the most, they get some extra work (I have a whole book of extra work that “fits the crime” where the kids have to reflect on their behaviour). Some classes have a system where you automatically move to “yellow” if you go during the lesson. In most cases we use common sense. The kid who asks to go five minutes after the end of their break needs to learn that yes, going to the bathroom is part of their “during the break” activities, same as eating*. The kid who asks to go after 30 minutes probably couldn’t have known during the last break.

 

*You wouldn’t believe the amount of kids who return to the lesson and then take out their breakfast. Many of them react angrily when you tell them to put it away and feel treated unfairly because they are hungry.

 

Although the school issued a retraction (see below), this isn’t the first time an American school is in the news for “strict”* bathroom policies.

On Twitter, while many people shared their stories about peeing/vomiting/etc. in class due to similar practises, many people replied that they didn’t see the problem and that it would teach kids discipline. It’s a dangerous gateway to the authoritarianism we currently see.

*strict as in dehumanising, cruel and completely fucked up.

 

Retraction letter from school

Retraction letter from school

The Healing Arts: A Tythe Pig No Bad Sight.

Click for full size.

A Tythe Pig No Bad Sight. Anonymous, 18th C, Engraving. Subject: Doctor's Wealth.

A Tythe Pig No Bad Sight. Anonymous, 18th C, Engraving. Subject: Doctor’s Wealth, Tythe Laws.

A Tythe Pig No Bad Sight.

The well fed rich Doctor now Dinner is o’er,-
In his Arm Chair gives way to an Afternoon’s snore,
His Belly is fat, and his Countenance ruddy,
High living’s his practice, the Tythe Laws his study.

The Curate may starve; while to slumber inclin’d
He dreams of the Riches to Doctorship join’d:-
Farmer Hodge brings a Pig to avoid Tythe Law strife,
And presents little Squeak to the Doctor’s fair Wife.

To rouze him from sleep, and his Eyes to regale,
She tickles his Nose with the Young Grunter’s Tail;
Shou’d he start with her tickling & wake in a fright,
You’ll allow a Tythe Pig is not a bad sight.

Word Wednesday.

Shabby

Adjective.

1: Clothed with worn or seeding garments.

2a: Threadbare and faced from wear. b: ill-kept: Dilapidated.

3a: Mean, Despicable, Contemptible <must feel shabby…because of his compromises – Nat Hentoff>
b: Ungenerous, unfair. c: Inferior in quality.

-shabbily, adverb.

-shabbiness, noun.

[Origin: obsolete English shab a low fellow.]

(1669)

“She stole a glance round the office – the office of the senior partner of the firm. It suited Walter Fane, she decided. It was definitely old-fashioned, the furniture was shabby, but was made of good solid Victorian material.” – Sleeping Murder, Agatha Christie.