torri77's picture
torri77

Am I or the teacher right?

My daughter started the 2nd grade in September. Yes, she skipped from 1st to 2nd grade, but that isn't the issue..completely. In September, she had 2 accidents at school. We blew it off as nerves having moved up a grade. Well, in December, the week before Christmas break, she did it again. Again, we blew it off as too much excitement. Well, last week, it happened again (every 3rd month kind of weird huh?). I decided to take her into the physician. I emailed her teacher the day before to let her know my daughter would be coming in late to school. She sent me an email back the next morning right before the Dr. Appt. and informed me, she didn't think it was a physical problem, but the fact that my daughter didn't use the bathroom when she should (at recess) and also went on to inform me that when the kids get up and go during class they miss out on Recess time. To me that is a punishment. I went in and had a talk with this teacher. She told me that this was what I get for skipping my child a grade. I told her what my physician had said "2nd grade, even 3rd grade is too young to try and teach them with punishment about using the bathroom at the correct times. She tried to tell me that it wasn't a punishment. That it was a guidline otherwise she would have kids roaming the halls all day. They did have a problem with this at the beginning of the year, but my question is this...why did the whole class get this "punishment guideline" instead of just the ones who were abusing the bathroom. So my question is, do you think this rule is a punishment, or a guideline?
Should I now bring it up with the principal, or just see if it blows off. I know there is only a couple more months of school, so I am really at a loss of what to do.



pokey's picture
pokey

I don't think I am really understanding about the guideline or punishment thing, so I don't know what to say about that.

But I think I would just focus on what is the problem with my daughter that she is having these accidents.

If the doctor rules out a physical problem like a urinary tract infection or such, then is it due to stress? Then why is she so stressed and how can I lessen her stress?

In the meantime, how about if your pediatrician writes a note stating that your daughter is to use the bathroom whenever she feels the urge? I would think the teacher would honor that if she saw such a note.

That might be the simplest fix to this problem, and hopefully, a less combative one with the teacher, perhaps?

Good luck. I feel for your daughter. I had an accident once in Kindergarten, and remember feeling so embarrassed.

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

Skip the teacher, I have found that a nice email to the principal cc’d to the teacher gets things done. Using the restroom is not a privilege, it is a necessity. Your daughter’s accidents are unhealthy for her psychologically, and pose a health risk to the other students. It’s obvious that this teacher is against your daughter skipping a grade, but that’s your decision not hers. Are these accidents caused by the teacher not allowing your daughter to use the restroom during class time? If this is the case, give her permission to excuse herself and the teacher can deal with you if she has a problem. I went through this with my son. How can a child learn or concentrate on work when they need to use the restroom?

Only2boys's picture
Only2boys

Hi Torri! I'm going to give you my input as an educator and a mom, and I don't mean to step on other poster's feet. Firt of all, I didn't see that you said that the teacher gives the kids breaks other then at recess. Did you ask if they have other built in bathroom breaks?

When I teach I always have built in breaks and kids know that they can always go right after lunch before we get on coats to go outside for recess. Yes, sometimes kids make the poor choice of not going to the bathroom before getting ready to go outside for recess. Your daughter is young and may need to learn that she needs to visit the bathroom then.

I would write a note just asking the teacher to allow your daughter to go to the bathroom at other times and to tell you if there is a problem where she abuses this. If you want to get a note from her doctor to give to the teacher that may be helpful as well. Most teachers if they see that the child is having problems remembering to use the bathroom when given breaks will quietly remind them and won't make an issue out of your child needing to go to the bathroom at other times.

What I think may be going on is that your child's teacher is trying to curve fooling around time and also have consistency with the rule for everyone. Maybe there have been problems in the halls or destruction in the bathrooms as well, which could mean that teachers have been warned.

I also had an incident with my son wetting his pants at school. None of the kids realized thank goodness. He didn't use the bathroom when given the chance. I just spoke with his teacher and asked her to let him go if he asked, and to tell me if there were problems that he was abusing this.

You may want to talk to the school nurse as well. My son I know went to her to get cleaned up when he had his accident.

How much time is your daughter missing of her recess for going to the bathroom?

Is your child's teacher allowing your child to go to the bathroom as needed now, since you've talked to her?

How is your child doing otherwise with this teacher and her classmates? If there is tension in one of these areas that could be causing your daughter to have these problems.

Good luck to you and your daughter.

Only

torri77's picture
torri77

Thank you for this comment. It is nice to see that an educator agrees. She has NEVER abused the using the bathroom time with meandoring the hall. She just goes straight in, and straight back. she loses any where from 5-10 min of a 15 min recess. And, no, the teacher is not letting her even though I talked with her. I decided since I just talked to her yesterday that I would give it a week and see how it goes. She told me that it is my daughters resposibility to remember at lunch and recess which I do agree with, but not completely. With her classmates and learning, she is doing GREAT! She is still at the very top of her class. When she took the test from the school psychologist to see if we should move her up a grade, she had the IQ of that of a 3rd grader. This is the only reason we moved her up. I really had debated it but socially and mentally she was ready. I am just starting to wish they had given her a teacher who had been teaching longer. The kids in her class are GREAT. I know that some of them have had to notice her accidents, but not one has said anything to her about it. They all keep playing with her too. isn't it great that there are still some kids like this! I did ask her teacher to give her a quiet reminder, and she said she reminds the whole class. But honestly, I don't think she specifically says use the bathroom. There is one other child in the class that my daughter has told me is also having accidents. She said he has them ALOT more then my daughter does. I really wish the teacher would see this, and realize her "non-punishment" plan is not working. Ecspecially now that I have talked to her. I have one question for you as an educator.....if I were to go to the principal now, would you feel offended? I don't want to undermind her, but at the same time, as she is a new teacher, I think it might be good to have the principal teach her that you can't punish for using the bathroom. I am her asst. room mother, and I am worried that she might not like me coming any more if I do go to the principal, and my daughter LOVES when I come help. wow am I glad summer is almost here :)

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

Be more concerned with the impact this has on your daughter rather than worrying about offending the teacher. As parents, our first priority is to our children.

kedzfam4's picture
kedzfam4

I am a Kindergarten teacher and a mother of 3. While I understand that having a specific bathroom time helps to stay organized, it should not have an accident as a result. First off, I would pack extra clothes so your daughter would have them available if an accident occurs (as well as a clean up at the nurse). Also, I would definitely talk to the principal. If your child were a special needs kids, they would be allowed to use the bathroom when they need to as long as there was no goofing around in the halls, bathroom, etc. that would result in injury. Why is your gifted child any different? Maybe she is not on the same schedule as everyone else? I had one child in class who had to use the bathroom for a BM at the same time everyday. That was his schedule. I would also instruct your daughter to explain to the teacher that it is an emergency. Eventually, your daughter will regulate herself on her own to not have to go during recess time. But it's more important to have her dignity and go use the bathroom than have an accident and possibly be embarrassed. Tell the teacher that if she is misbehaving during that bathroom usage time, to let you know and you'll handle it, but not to use the restroom as punishment. How would the teacher feel not be able to use the bathroom if she needed to? Sorry if I'm ranting a little. This upsets me for the kids. They shouldn't feel degraded at school. It should be a positive, encouraging place. Why make a child choose between bathroom and playtime? They should know they can have enough time for each.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Every child is different, and a teacher, of all people, shld understand this. I think a big part of the problem is that teachers (other than those in spec ed) don't have the time or the authority to treat each child as an individual. Instead they have to treat their students as a whole. Every child is expected to be on the same pg or they won't be able to keep up. I can only imagine how hard it must be for teachers to stay on top of 25 students in a class. However, you can't set a "guideline" and expect all the kids to follow it, especially at a young age. This is unrealistic. Guidelines are necessary, yes, but there needs to be some flexibility, especially in a situation like this. I agree w/ sngldad. Go straight to the principal.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Another thought: The school shld assign an aide to the class or someone to act as hall monitor. It's always helpful to have an extra set of hands. I remember having to ask for a hall pass when being excused to use the bathrm.

Only2boys's picture
Only2boys

Just was wondering how this past week went and what you decided to do. Keep us informed. :)

Only

cassandrafilsaime's picture
cassandrafilsaime

is she making a and bs right yes or no or send me a message