I am a director at a center. One of my teachers in my 3's class is having a problem with our boys in the bathroom. I would love some great ideas to help her out.
We are a small center that has central bathrooms for all of our classrooms. The boys and girls are right next to each other, with two stalls in each one. We have 5 boys and 3 girls who are using these at the same time. A teacher is monitoring both bathrooms at the same time, helping when needed. Our problem is our boys are not able to keep their hands to themselves, they are always being silly, and bathroom time leaves the teachers so frustrated at the end. We have a helper teacher who, whenever able, is helping in the bathroom. Even with the helper in the bathroom with the boys time is very difficult. How can we move through bathroom time in a positive and time conscious way so others can use the restroom as well. Thanks for brainstorming with us.
Have the helper do songs /chants with the children while they are waiting. This is a good time for some transition learning time. As A mentor I see this all the time and I will model for the teachers on how to sit/stand with the ones who are waiting and do songs/chants/fingerplays or even have a short learning activity (flashcards), for example: Letters, Rhyming, compounds words.
I agree with Alice, Give them something to while they wait. I am a home provider and managing potty time is one of the more challenging parts of my day, especially since most of them are potty training. I offer the kids who are waiting their turn something to do, otherwise they would be all over the place and impossible to watch. I cannot do songs, as I am the one doing the potty helping, but I have had a school age child read to my little kids while they waited.
I am wondering if there is a way to individualize toileting and invite the children to go when then need to rather than taking a group at a time. These boys might be playing around because they don't need to use the restroom.
Another thought might be to have one or two children be helpers - giving them a job to do; perhaps there is a clipboard to hold, or they get to choose a song to sing, or play follow the leader while walking to the bathroom and letting one of them be the leader and choose how to walk; something to keep them engaged.
Last thought, once students are done in the restroom, can they be escorted back to the classroom so they do not have to wait - waiting is hard.
Hope these are helpful - I look forward to seeing other ideas. Best of luck to you.
In our program, we do potty tries by taking 2 children at a time to the bathroom while another teacher is with the rest of the class reading/looking at books. This allows a teacher to help children in the bathroom and another teacher to keep the other children focused on something of interest to them. It works well for us.
Thank you for all the ideas you have come to me with for our Bathroom time dilemma.
Maybe the one thing that I did not share is that Normally there is only one teacher in the group, and a second helper cannot be assumed to be there. This is what makes it difficult to plan for every bathroom time. Sometimes I have a floater who can help, but sometimes this floater is helping other classrooms as well. Any ideas for a teacher on their own?
Since this is a group bathroom break, is it possible to schedule the time it occurs so that the floater or another person from the office is with the group on a regular basis? Having only one teacher monitor both girls AND boys means one group is left out of adult sight for some time during every bathroom break- I think this is asking for trouble. Especially if the boys are already in a habit of playing around in the bathroom- it may be asking too much from a single teacher and creating a a tension that can result in teacher burn out! I think you really need 2 teachers or non group bathroom breaks at least until better bathroom routines are established .
if it really MUST be 1 teacher with a mixed group of boys & girls at potty time, I suggest reading a fun book in the hall between both bathrooms and sending children into the bathroom only 1 or 2 at a time. If the book is really fun & engaging, the children will be more likely to finish up bathroom business quickly & return to listening. Circle games or songs that are super fun for the children can work well too- just make sure it is interesting for the children who are having difficulty following rules during bathroom time.
hooe this helps!