Saturday, September 22, 2012

Restroom Ordeal

Every Monday through Friday, I am in the auditorium for the afterschool program that I work in. We start the afterschool program by taking roll. That is, we are trying to determine which students are present and which are absent. We have about 120 students to take roll for. That's a lot of students. So, it takes a while to account for everyone. The easiest way to take account for everyone who is either present or absent is for everyone who is present to remain in the room in which roll call is being taken. That's why no one is permitted to go to the restroom while roll call is in progress.

If we did allow anyone to go to the restroom while roll call was in progress, then when a student returned from the restroom, we would need to go back to record them as present (assuming that there name had already been called). That is inefficient and inconvenient because all students are accounted for in alphabetical order.

A couple days ago, this second grader is squirming where he is sitting because he needs to go to the bathroom. He runs over to go to the restroom. I stop him.

Me: Hey. Where are you going?

2nd Grader: I need to go to the restroom really bad.

Me: You can't go during roll call. Sit down.

2nd Grader: But, she said that I could go.

Me: Go back to your seat. Sit down.

So, I talk to one of the afterschool teachers that I work with and she tells me that he appeared like he was going to wet his pants. So, she urged me to let him go. I gave into it. In retrospect, I wish that I had held my ground.

This is what I was thinking in retrospect. Every student has several opportunities to go to the restroom. They have morning recess, afternoon recess, lunch, before roll call, and students are even allowed to go to the restroom during class time. So, in my view, this kid has no excuse to be going to the restroom during roll call. Let's say that this kid wets his pants. So what? We have a spill and he learns that he has to plan when he goes to the restroom. Also, it needs to be clearly explained to him that he cannot go to the restroom whenever he wants because sometimes it is an inconvenience to other people such as those taking roll call.

An argument that one of my coteachers made was that he would be embarrassed if he wet his pants. I have a response to that. Every student will have some day throughout their entire school life from K through 12 when they get embarrassed. So, what are we going to do? Are we going to cater to every single embarrassing moment that any given student has? No we're not. Why? Because its not feasible and it doesn't teach students to deal with their shortcomings, flaws, mistakes, and so on.

No comments:

Post a Comment