It seems as if everyday is a struggle. My students and I are in constant control over the classroom. Even into November, they still can’t concede that I make the decisions. Case in point: the bathroom.
We have two silent signals students can use—one to ask if they can use the bathroom and one for an emergency.
The emergency signal was a bad idea. Students caught on quickly that a “no” to the normal signal turns into a “yes” if they change it to an emergency. So now every request to use the bathroom is an emergency.
I don’t have a problem with students using the bathroom for its intended purposes. I do have a problem with students using the bathroom as a personal break from class.
At this point, I can only trust about 6 or 7 of my students to use the bathroom honestly. All of the others use the bathroom just because I let somebody else use the bathroom and whenever one kid gets to do something everybody else wants to do it too.
I have a strict system. Students have to sign out and they can only use the bathroom once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Tyrese can’t use the bathroom at all because I always tell him he has to finish his work before he can leave and he never finishes his work. This is also true for other students. This is where the struggle comes in. The students who don’t finish their work don’t understand why other students get to go and they don’t.
This is particularly true for Princess. Her mother left me a voicemail of concern that I’m not letting her daughter use the bathroom whenever she wants. Her mother is concerned that Princess will develop bladder issues or wet her pants.
I know exactly the issues she’s upset about. Last week Princess used the emergency silent signal during the middle of a math lesson and I told her to wait two minutes so I could finish explaining the lesson. Well, Princess made a big fuss and whined about it so I told her she was no longer allowed to go and would have to wait until she finished her math work. Princess rushed through her work and wrote random numbers. I didn’t let her go to the bathroom at all. We had to go to special and I told her she’d have to go then.
My purpose was to teacher her a lesson that whining doesn’t get you what you want and that work comes first. I suppose I should’ve just let her go, but she was being a bitch. She didn’t wet her pants, and I’m not convinced she even had to go.