Getting water at school? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Argh! Maybe someone can help me understand this--meaning, a teacher. I work in the school system, and day after day, I hear teachers outside with their kids, during the school day, doing things like sending them to the bathroom, and invariably I hear, "No water! Do not get water!" or something along those lines. It isn't just teachers either, it's almost all school personnel. I don't get this. : I know if it were my child, I'd want him/her to have access to water! We live in a hot area too, so I just don't understand this preoccupation with not allowing students to sate their thirst? I can't think if I'm thirsty, why do we expect kids to? Maybe this is just a vent, but I really don't get it.....
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#2 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 02:41 PM
 
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Well, I can answer as a former teacher.

When 20 kids are all in the hall together, and they ALL want a drinK, people get impatient, someone starts shoving, the one at the fountain gets jostled and gets his face smacked into the fountain (ow!!), water splashes everywhere, now the tile is slippery, down goes the first student (oww!!) crashing into someone else (ow!!). Do you see how 20 kids all waiting for one fountain is not a good idea?

Now, that said, when I was a teacher, I ALWAYS made sure my students had access to water. I encouraged them all to bring in spill-proof water bottles to keep at their desk and let anyone who didn't have abottle get a drink anytime they wanted. But I would send 2 at a time- no use all going together when only one person can drink at a time anyway.

SO, if you saw me in the hall with my whole class, I might very well be saying, "No water! Please don't get water!" but I'd be sending them all out 2 at a time once we were past the fountain.

So, I just had to stick up for the teachers you saw...I assume they are just trying to prevent an accident.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, yeah, I can see that. I guess then my question becomes, why in the world don't people say that kind of thing? And the answer would have as many variations as people and probably brings us back to the gentle discipline/respect issue...but why not say, "No water now please. When we get back to class, I'll allow you to get some." And I don't mean you mamacrab, I mean in general. And it still begs the question of instructional aides doing the same thing. I believe it can be set up to be safer. For example, have the line stand five paces back, while two go up for their drinks. To me, it doesn't require any greater supervision than standing outside the bathroom while everybody pees--I'm using my own schools as my models--this is what the teachers do. But I think I'm also crabby because I had a teacher get in my face today for reasons that I think had nothing to do with the actual behavior [crying] of the child. So take me with a grain of salt. Thanks for your input!
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#4 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 05:00 PM
 
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The year before ds went to school, I visited our local public school. I was sitting in the kindergarten classroom, and the kids were coming in from recess hot and thirsty. They started toward the water fountain and the teacher started YELLING at them to come sit on the rug. "Its NOT water time. Its story time. Come sit on the rug and listen to the story. You don't need water now, you can get water later. When it is story time, I expect you to sit and listen to the story!"

Argh. So, non of the kids were able to pay any attention what-so-ever to the story. They *were* clearly thirsty! I was furious for them.

(Ds is in private school.)
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#5 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 05:12 PM
 
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Yet another reason to home school if a person can, for the health of a child. To be able eat and drink as the childs body so directs.
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#6 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 05:20 PM
 
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Well, children often behave better in theory than in reality. After recess or gym or any special for which t hey're in the hall, they're usually pretty pumped. Older kids can control their behavior. sometimes. But, it's pretty darn near impossible to expect a class of kinders or 1st graders to stand quietly in the hall long enough for everyone to get a drink. And, yes, they do need to be quiet b/c there are often classrooms right next to the bathrooms. And, if you say just get a drink when we get back to class, it can also turn into chaos. It's so exciting to count how many kids are in line. Is it your turn? Well, maybe if you're quicker than the other kid. He's drinking too long. He blew on me. etc

To solve it, I just ask all my kids to have a water bottle on their desks. All problems solved.
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#7 of 17 Old 09-09-2003, 10:29 PM
 
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At my daughter's public school the children are encouraged to bring water bottles and leave them on their desks. If they eat a snack, they have it at recess, which happens every hour and fifteen minutes. It is flexible and accomodating, which is what we want for our kids. Perhaps you could approach the teacher and ask what it would take to make the children more comfortable. If she is trying to supervise children in the classroom and children down the hall and around the corner, she could be in need of a parent who can take a few minutes after lunch hour to help the children get a drink from the fountain before they head into class.
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#8 of 17 Old 09-09-2003, 10:40 PM
 
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I'm liking the water bottle idea a lot. My dd said she doesn't go to the bathroom during school. I find it odd. I'm thinking that's it's probably due to the fact that she's not drinking enough. DD is prone to bad headaches, fever and dehydration (was hospitalized for it during her SK year).

I'll be sending her to school with one tomorrow for sure.
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#9 of 17 Old 09-10-2003, 12:01 PM
 
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At my kids' school the teachers like them to bring water bottles because that means less time the kids have to be out of class going to the fountain. I personally like it because I think fountains are nasty, plus our water at home is filtered & the school's is not.
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#10 of 17 Old 09-10-2003, 01:54 PM
 
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I've been in the washrooms of some public schools and I don't blame your dd, Threetimesamom! They can get pretty bad. Another thing for parents to pressure the administration to maintain...
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#11 of 17 Old 09-12-2003, 06:42 PM
 
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I'm a teacher, currently not working, but I know where this thing comes from. Some teachers make these strict absolute rules just so they can keep order in the classroom, and often those rules are unfair! I mean, for a teacher to tell a thirsty kid he can't drink, or worse, to tell a kid he has to wait for the bathroom when he really needs to go...that's just wrong. But of course, there will always be kids who abuse bathroom and water fountain use - you know, getting up and leaving the room too often, just to avoid work.

Water bottles on the desks are great - the kids don't have to miss anything, and it is way more sanitary. At first the kids seem to sip nonstop throughout the day but then the novelty wears off.

As far as the bathroom goes, I always just had a boy's pass and a girl's pass and the kids could just get up to go whenever they needed to, as long as the pass was there, meaning there wasn't another child out of the room at the moment. If I saw a kid taking advantage of this routine, I dealt with him or her individually.
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#12 of 17 Old 09-12-2003, 06:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Celestial
We were once told by a teacher that the kids couldn't have water, because then they would have to go to the bathroom, and they were only allowed to use the bathroom twice a day.

That really ticks me off. Last year my daughter had to go bad and the teacher wouldn't let her. She ended up peeing in her pants because of it. Of course the teacher called me and told me another story to cover her only I didn't know it at the time because it was before I got my daughter's side. I have always told my kids if they have to go bad and the teacher doesn't let them go to just walk out and go anyway and to tell the teacher to call me and I'll take care of it. I told this to that teacher too. :LOL We had no more problems after that.

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#13 of 17 Old 09-12-2003, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like your style Lunamom, and I agree with you that sometimes rules are made rigidly and the needs of the kids are not taken into account, and I think that's what I was hearing and responding to.

And,
Quote:
Another thing for parents to pressure the administration to maintain...
I totally agree! Unfortunately my district has deeply slashed the custodial staff due to state budget cuts, and I can only imagine what those awful places are like right now!
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#14 of 17 Old 09-12-2003, 09:44 PM
 
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Quote:
But of course, there will always be kids who abuse bathroom and water fountain use - you know, getting up and leaving the room too often, just to avoid work.
Well, I guess I see it as a whole 'nother problem with they system when the kids need to look for ways to avoid their work! Maybe it can't always be "fun," but they should always feel interested, engaged, and fullulled by their schoolwork.
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#15 of 17 Old 09-14-2003, 11:58 AM
 
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Very true, mamaduck. I often found it very frustrating that I couldn't always teach the way I wanted to because of things I could not control - state requirements, test preparation, etc. Lots of things are wrong with the public schools, sure.

On the other hand, I did encounter a whole lot of students that just had lousy attitudes towards any kind of work that required effort, even if the projects were interesting and engaging. Not to make overgeneralizations, but these were often kids who watched way too much tv and had no chores or responsibilities at home.

Another reason why kids "abuse" bathroom and water fountain privileges is because it is hard for them to sit still for so long! Kids in school need a whole lot more physical activity than they get. A teacher who is aware of this will try to intersperse "seatwork" with more physical learning activities - I used to teach the multiplication tables by using a ball with numbers printed all over it, and the kids would toss it to each other. When a child caught it, he/she had to multiply the two numbers that were under his/her thumbs. Much more fun than pencil and paper, and more effective, too, because the kids enjoy it!

Teachers, who stand and walk around a lot of the time, often have no idea how difficult it is for kids to sit still for the long periods their work often requires. I wish they taught this in education classes!!!
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#16 of 17 Old 09-14-2003, 01:02 PM
 
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My dd has a water cooler in her first grade classroom and they brought in mugs the first day to leave there. They can get a drink whenever they are thirsty thank goodness. It is a private school though.
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#17 of 17 Old 09-15-2003, 03:50 AM
 
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At my son's school all the parents are required to pay a small fee (as part of the snack fee) and the teachers purchase water bottles for all of the children and they may have water anytime they like throughout the day.
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