Spin off on bathroom at school...

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HeatherAnn817's picture
Joined: 05/28/04
Posts: 139
Spin off on bathroom at school...

Here is a slight spin off....there is a child in my children's classroom at school who continuously takes forever when she goes to the bathroom. Last year, in Kindergarten the entire class was monitored by a teacher when at the bathroom so this did not happen. This year, the children go in small groups. This particular child can sometimes be the first one in and the very last out....taking a long time, taking forever to wash and dry her hands, walking very slowly back....clearing procrastinating in some cases.

My daughter came home yesterday and told me that the teacher now sets an egg timer when she leaves for the bathroom, and the child needs to be back before the sand runs out.

Honestly, not quite sure how I feel about that one. Most days, I think it would be great, but what if there was a day that she was legitimately longer.

Additional info...I do not know the length of time on the egg timer. I do not know if the egg timer is on the teacher's desk, child's desk, etc. The consequence is moving her clip to a lower position on the behavior chart. I also do not know if this is public knowledge in the class or if my daughter only knows because she is friends with this girl and sits next to her.


culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

The issue is not her time going to the bathroom but the time she takes doing the other things (like washing her hands, drying her hands, and walking back). She obviously is not being mindful of her teacher, the class, and her responsibilities if she is meandering back to class. It seems obvious that she is either just wasting time on purpose or is one of those kids who run on their own clock. Either way, she needs to learn that the world does not revolve around her and her time. I'm not sure what is the right way to go about doing that and I sympathize with the teacher.

Since I am one of those crazies who actually believe most teachers are competant, I am going to assume that the teacher has already talked to the parents, realizes that the child is not actually using the bathroom all that time or has some reason why her body takes longer to urinate or deficate then other kids, and that there is more to the story then just what you got from your child. But wether there is an egg time or not, kids need to know that going to the bathroom has a time limit whether it is expressed in exact terms or not. You can't go to the bathroom for long lengths of time during school on a regular basis. Just like if you are at work, you can't spend 4 hours eating lunch because your digestive system requires slow chewing. It's called learning to be responsible and accountable.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I too would assume this is something that has been discussed with the parents before hand and agreed to. Also, I will say again that the teacher has the ability to make exceptions to her own rule. If the girl does well for weeks and then comes in late one time, the teacher has the ability to give her 'this one chance' or whatever.

I think this is a great idea for this child, I just hope its not a minute timer Smile

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I think the teacher did the right thing for this child, for my oldest it wouldn't because it just takes him a long time (pooping).. peeing he is quick though. But this isn't an issue of how long it takes to pee/poop but the lollygagging along the way. I would also talk with the parent if the child is wearing tights, or overalls or other "tricky" clothing, so as not to give them an extra excuse.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4097

I would hope the teacher has talked with both the child & the parents about the amount of time she takes using the restroom. I know Tiven has little concept of time even now at 7 years old, so I'm always setting the timer for various things & coming up with tricks for her. Singing "happy birthday" or "twinkle twinkle" while washing her hands, it's long enough but not too long. I set the timer for 1 minute to get out of bed after I wake her up, or she'll lie there for literally 10 minutes or more "stretching" before getting up. I tell her to count while she's putting her pants on, and get her shirt on within the same number, or she takes forever figuring out which way is forward & where the arms are. So I think that's what the egg timer is for, to show the child what three minutes is, and IMHO that's a very reasonable amount of time to use the bathroom, especially since most first grade classes are very near the restroom.

HeatherAnn817's picture
Joined: 05/28/04
Posts: 139

I would assume that the teacher has communicated with the parents and/or child. She has been excellent in other areas of communication.

And good point about the teacher being able to make exceptions to her own rule. That was the part that worried me. What if the little girl was legitimentaly in the bathroom for a long time one days. I would want to see her behavior chart changed for that! I am sure the teacher has a plan though.

Just thought it was an interesting twist given the bathroom topic was already on-going!

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