Monday, June 06, 2011

Dude, I so gotta pee……again

It’s funny what they don’t teach you in the Credential Program that is actually important in the classroom.  Take for instance, bathroom policy.  So what happens when a new teacher comes upon a collection of students that want a revolving door to the bathroom?  Believe it or not, I don’t think the situation was brought up one time in my tenure as a student teacher.

San Francisco Unified, the school district that is notorious for making stupid ass choices (banning the Junior ROTC), has found the solution.  Let the kids roam.  Yes, what better way to protect the rights of a 13 year old than to allow them to make one bathroom trip after another until all the satisfaction in the world is taken care of within a few school periods.  Oh forget the potential problems this could cause, as the author C.W. Nevius pointed out, just realize that if we simply treat kids like adults, they’ll act like adults……….and, you know, they’ll remember to use a condom when rocking a bathroom stall.  This policy has all kinds of problematic consequences that teachers will ultimately be blamed for.  It is, simply put, an idiot policy made by people that haven’t a damn clue about a classroom.

My policy is quite simple and didn’t take long to make.  Students are allowed to use the restroom one at a time.  They take a little piece of paper and put their name, the time, and “Bathroom Pass” at the top.  I tell them that regardless of what I’m doing, come up and I’ll sign it.  I don’t break the flow of the presentation, I simply glance at the time and their off.  Additionally, I don’t allow students to leave with ten minutes left in class.  Students that want to go within ten minutes of class starting have the option to wait or take a tardy.  99% of students follow this without a problem.  So a student texts between my room and the bathroom.  And?  That’s really going to impact the educational process?  Sure, I have chronic “users” of the potty, regularly going once a day.  But they get in and get out quick enough to have my trust.  Oh, one other thing to male teachers especially.  You have to be much more flexible to girls.  Want to create a really interesting situation?  Tell a menstruating girl that she can’t use the restroom.  Just about every female including the Alien Queen Mother will have you in a lack-of-compassion death match that you have no chance at winning.  Just sign the pass and let the chips fall where they may.  No, you don’t know if it is true or not.  Guess what, the question is not worth asking. 

Or go work in San Francisco and enjoy the possible parade to the potty.  Then you really won’t have to worry about it.     

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