Saturday, September 17, 2011

Apparently I am not a "girl"

I think teachers may be genderless.  I, at least, am not a "girl" in the sense of "eeeeek a girl is in the boys bathroom!!!"

Case in point:

While going over the bathroom expectations with my 5th grade students we walked down to the actual bathrooms to work with a 1/2 grade blend class to "walk through" the bathroom expectations in the actual bathroom.  The 1/2 blend teacher took the girls and I took the boys.

After reviewing the "be safe" guidelines (have a pass, go directly to bathroom and back, keep water in the sink, etc etc) and the "be responsible" (have a pass, go directly to the bathroom and back, make it quick, keep the bathroom clean etc etc etc) and the "be respectful" (see all of the above and add: don't peak under or over the stall doors/walls) I walked the 35 boys into the actual restroom to model the water in the sink and paper towels in the trash.

Upon entering the bathroom WITH my boys a few of the 5th grade boys decided that all this bathroom talk made them feel they HAD to use the urinals.  Do you know what happens when little 1st and 2nd graders see others using the urinals? They HAVE to use the urinals.  No one seemed to think anything of the fact that I was RIGHT THERE and FEMALE attempting to go over bathroom expectations. 

Being a quick thinker (and the mother of a boy!) I turned my back to the boys using the urinals and the long line of little ones behind them waiting not so patiently said, "this is a good time to remind you that it's important to wash your hands after using the bathroom" and to the sound of toilets flushing and the stench of urine I made my hasty exit.

Next year the only expectation I am going to teach is Be Respectful: Do not use the urinal while your teacher is there. 

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