1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Is it unprofessional to drink water from a plastic bottle in the classroom?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by snowyhead, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Our head has decided that teachers should not drink water during lessons, particularly from water bottles.
    There are health and safety issues with hot drinks, which I completely understand. However the banning of water bottles does seem a step too far. In practice, this means that a teacher who is on playground duty could be faced with the prospect of not having any fluid intake between 8.30 am and 12.30 pm. I personally keep a small water bottle on my desk and drink from this when I feel my voice drying up.
    I know that voice coaches recommend frequent sips of water to avoid voice strain and infections, which teachers are particularly prone to.
    What do others do?

  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I drink water from a bottle, the pupils are allowed bottled water too
  3. purplepixie

    purplepixie New commenter

    Frankly, your head is mental. If we were to ban children drinking water in lessons; we'd be (quite rightly) hauled in. I drink water throughout the day from glasses.
  4. ellbee

    ellbee New commenter

    I drink out of bottles, as do the kids, and we have water machines throughout the school so people can fill their bottles up.
    What reason does your head give for saying this is not allowed?
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    In which case I suggest leaving the lesson/duty to have a drink...and a 'comfort' break too: no HT can refuse a break for the toilet....
  6. I favour vodka bottle in filing cabinet with extra long bendy straw snaking out (hamster style).
  7. I drink dilute juice from a beaker in my classroom- I have low blood sugar and need the sugary drink to keep me going. I also eat crackers or a banana between lessons 3 and 4 where there is no break only change over to maintain sugar levels. The kids coming into my next lesson see me doing this and have no problem with it. They get to sit down all morning, I am running about after them!
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    What's your HT's problem? Does she think it's unprofessional for a teacher to be able to do what is forbidden to the children?
    Teachers use their voices a lot. I sometimes get really thirsty in the afternoon. I advise you to bring up the matter at a staff meeting and get everyone to tell your HT [in the politest possible terms] to stuff it. If she doesn't back down, contact your unions.

    How pathetic.
  9. Thank you for reminding me why I decided against ever teaching in a Secondary School.
  10. snowstorm

    snowstorm New commenter

    I've done this; still waiting for the tribunal judgement.
  11. I take my cup of coffee into lessons. I'm very careful not to take it near the kids, so there is no danger of scalding (the same care that I take when I'm near my much younger children at home).
    I drink coffee as it helps my asthma (this is a scientifically proven fact) and if I don't drink it I tend to have coughing fits when I have to use my voice a lot. The children are allowed water bottles in lessons and I need to use my voice a lot more than they should.
  12. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Thanks for the responses. As I suspected most think this is a step too far.
    I don't take hot drinks into the classroom, as I believe there are serious health and safety issues bound up in this. Children are allowed to bring a water bottle to school and although they are kept at the sink area, they are free to drink from them during lesson times. I have a particularly hot classroom, which is south facing with poor ventilation, even in winter its always too warm so frequent sips of water are a necessity.
    I've tried using a plastic beaker but this has been knocked over on two occasions (once by me!). I don't really like the idea of my drink being exposed to all the coughing and sneezing emitted by the children either, so a plastic water bottle suits my purpose.
    If the head persists with this draconian line then a chat to our union rep will be on the cards. I believe its bordering on bullying behaviour.
  13. What is the world coming to? When someone's water intake is being curtailed by not being able to have a water bottle in the classroom. I think your head is being completely unreasonable. Surely a bottle of water which has a screw top is a sensible option in terms of health and safety.
    I just wonder sometimes who Headteachers think they are. Why is it that some Headteachers just make whatever decisions they like without any thought for others well being? Your right it is bullying behaviour. Some Heads think they can just disregard laws and do whatever the heck they like. There are so many examples of the bullying and work related stress on this forum What I would like to know is who do we go to when things go badly wrong? Unions? LEA? Don't make me laugh. They back the Head and then the Head just continues to behave in exactly the same way. It is this that has to change. If the LEA knows a Head is a bully why do they allow it to continue.
  14. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Not without risk of breaching their duty of care towards an employee. Preventing somebody from using the bathroom is a H&S issue.
    That is a rest break. It does not replace or remove the duty of care from the employer with regard to Health and Safety.
    They were implementing EU rules on working time. Without these rules, some employers would be giving poorer working conditions.

    To reiterate, an employer who attempted to impose a "no comfort break" rule would possibly be breaching their duty of care owed to employees.
  15. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    That is quite bonkers! I'd ring your union to seek a bit of guidance..

    My friend's HT has recently banned sandals (Birkenstock style) in their primary. Not, as I'd presumed, because they had open toes which would open you up to H+S issues of having heavy things dropped on them, but because if you had to chase after a child, you wouldn't be able to run in them. The HT however, who wears v short skirts and v v high heels-is fine though...
  16. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    In response to the original post, I can't believe that no-ones brought up the old 'eight glasses of water a day' myth yet!
    LOL! It amazes me how some women can walk in their choice of shoes, let alone run!
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I don't want to wear sandals (give me a pair of sensible Mary Janes any day of the week), I don't even want to drink 2 litres of water a day! I just want to be able to have a few sips of water from a water bottle as and when the need arises. A basic human right, you would have thought.

  18. if it is due to health and safety - hot drink could possibly be sipped from thermos traveller mugs[​IMG]

Share This Page