Friday, September 21, 2007

Restroom Passes

"Please do not allow anyone out of class."

It's a standard request that teachers make. I understand the logic behind it. They don't want their students roaming the halls. To a student, having a sub means taking the day off, and getting to go and find a friend in a class on the other side of campus is too good an opportunity to pass up.

A student can't ask to go and talk to a friend in another class. That sort of request would be instantly shot down. So, instead the student asks to go and use the restroom.

That is part of the reason why teachers tell us subs to not allow restroom passes. And I get that. But it puts me in a difficult position. What if the student actually has to go? What if the student has to go badly?

Of course, I allow emergency restroom passes. But what constitutes an emergency? Are they taking advantage of me? I wish that there was a Magic 8 Ball or something that I could use to suss out the liars. ("Does this student really need to go?";"Reply hazy, try again.") So, since there's not, I have to err on the side of caution. I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Today I ended up leaving this long list of students who "had" to go. Okay, so it only averaged 2 students a class. For a "no passes" rule, that's a lot. It's just that I don't want to be the sub who ends up vilified on the 6 o'clock news for not permitting a student to relieve himself. I don't think the "but the teacher said not to let anyone out" excuse would get me off the hook.

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