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Toilet During Lesson Time

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by FredfromFrance, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. FredfromFrance

    FredfromFrance New commenter

    A slightly comical dilemma, I suppose, but it's something no-one ever talks about (for understandable reasons).

    Has anyone ever got caught short mid-lesson and needed to rush to the toilet? It's happened to me several times recently, but funnily enough only the first time in years of teaching.

    It got me wondering if this is 'allowed'? No one saw me rush out and leave my class for a grand total of less than 60 seconds, but I'm expecting issues when I eventually do (oh my goodness, what am I saying?!?!)

    At the minute I'm lucky enough to be right next to a toilet, but some schools' staff toilets are miles away from the classrooms. What happens when you really need to go but can't?

    Please share your stories and thoughts!

    P.S. I'm also giggling inside at typing about toilets! ;)
  2. thebookyouwish

    thebookyouwish New commenter

    Are you primary or secondary? An important distinction in leaving children unsupervised...
  3. Iceni_princess

    Iceni_princess New commenter

    When I was expecting my son a couple of years back, I regularly needed the toilet in between lessons. I kept my phone with me and called a member of the pastoral team to sit with my class so I could waddle over to the main building and back again
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It might be worth a doctors' appointment, given that this seems to be a sudden change for you (unless you've just changed your drinking habits and that might account for it, in which case you'd better change them back).

    When I was expecting, I was a little worried about having to rush out with morning sickness. I was new to the school, too. Fortunately I happened to have a TA in all my lessons, and she also pointed out that there was a disabled toilet just along the corridor - officially for pupils, but since it was a single unit there was no safeguarding risk with me using it.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Has happened to me, I would just ask the teacher next door to keep an eye on my class.
  6. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    It depends on the age of the children. I wouldn’t leave an infant class alone for a nano-second! My children said in secondary the teachers would often pop out of the classroom.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I also wouldn't leave a primary class alone under any circumstances. I wouldn't want to think about the consequences for the teacher if they did and someone hurt themselves, even slightly. I guess we're lucky in that it's very rare for there to be only one adult in our primary classes, but if that happened, I would have to ring the school office or another class and get someone to come and 'relieve' me for a few minutes.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  8. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Yes. But I had a UTI (Not pleasant) and they were Year 13, so no issue.

    I wouldn't leave any class younger than Sixth Form, unless I had a TA or helpful passing colleague willing to step in for five minutes.
  9. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    I won’t be sharing stories and thoughts about my bladder and I strongly suggest other posters don’t either.
    ilovesooty and FrankWolley like this.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Its something many women need to take into consideration when choosing which jobs to apply for. I have a colleague who can't go a full hour between toilet visits on the first day of her period, and several of us along the same corridor keep our doors open on that day so we can hear her class. I was in that position myself for around 20 years, so I relied on other colleagues to help me out.
    Catgirl1964 and CWadd like this.
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Now I am almost in my dotage plus the fact I am on medication to make me shed water but also am required to drink a lot to maintain blood pressure I am learning to manage my need to visit the bathroom. Every break I get I go regardless of need so I start each session with an 'empty tank'. I don't gulp down a whole drink in each break. Instead I have an insulated cup with a lid and imbibe a little at a time. No accidents so far and only one time in the last 2 weeks where I sent a class (luckily a bottom set with only a few kids) to their afternoon assembly a few minutes early so I could trot to the loo. Posting this has brought on a need to go!:confused:
  12. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    When I was a union rep at a secondary I had the uneviable job of defending a teacher who amongst other 'crimes' was accused of leaving a class unattended at times. This did not go far as no staff realised the rule but next safeguarding session reinforced that the teacher stays in the room for the full lesson or calls for another teacher/cover supervisor/pastoral to watch them.

    When I asked the Safeguarding SLT for clarity I gave the example that
    "If I should nip to the loo and the second I'm out of sight you walk into the room. So when I return a few minutes later I could count myself lucky to get a bollocking and nothing more?"
    It was agreed that this was the case.

    I've a big enough bladder to not worry about the lesson length but I'm so badly organised that printing is frequently in the printer rather than the classroom. As I'm supply then the dynamics are different but the principle is the same and I suggest that you find out how to get a pass from SLT rather than relying on common-sense or any mercy to be shown.
  13. Dorsetdreams

    Dorsetdreams Occasional commenter

    Secondary. When I have to go, I go. If the school needs a procedure followed it should be clearly published and certainly not 'hidden' in some safeguarding clap-trap.
    tall tales and Porche_Black like this.
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    She seriously shares this information with colleagues every four weeks or so???? Hmmmm.

    Just go if you need to, especially if next door to the loo and your class are vaguely trustworthy.

    Just before lunch and break I send my class to 'go and do a wee while Miss X does her wee' and they go in to the pupil loos and I go to the staff one right next door. They are in EYFS and the regulations say pupils 'must be within sight or hearing' of staff, so no problem as I can hear all the daftness.
    Outside of this, I just ask any passing adult to keep an eye for a moment.
  15. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Mrs B worked for a long time in a private nursery where there were no staff loos. If a member of staff needed to go they had to use the kids' toilet which was special small version for preschoolers! She worked there for 12 years!
  16. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I think you need to speak to your line manager about this.
    Giggling about toilets you may be but this is a serious health issue. "Hanging on" is not conducive to good bladder health.
    It is a basic human right to be able to access a toilet when needed.
    A procedure needs putting in place to enable you to manage this area of your health. We all need to pee, we all have different levels of continence and you need to put your health first.
    Get the procedure written so that you know where you stand.
    FollyFairy and Catgirl1964 like this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It really isn't.
    drvs and sooooexcited like this.
  18. FredfromFrance

    FredfromFrance New commenter

    I posted a reply a while ago but the system lost it.

    Thanks for the contributions.

    The point is that I was wondering if we actually had some kind of right to use the toilet when needed. I hate feeling like I'm not being treated like an adult and need to sneak around to answer calls of nature.

    I have no health issues, just need the loo from time to time!

    Would be nice to feel like I'm treated with respect... oh wait... I'm a teacher...
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. FredfromFrance

    FredfromFrance New commenter

    tall tales and agathamorse like this.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter


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