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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
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    Charlotte
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    1,516

    Default Teachers- has this ever happened to you?

    Last week was our week of state testing. 2-3.5 hours each day, walking around the room, completely silent. Well, when testing was finished on day 3 (all materials taken up, testing was OVER, but I had been in the room for 2.5 hours straight), I had to go to the bathroom. I mean really, I had waited as long as I possibly could. So I went across the hall and asked another teacher to keep an eye on my kids (who were sitting in their desks silently) while I made an emergency trip to the bathroom.

    This has been common practice at my school for the 11 years I've been there. But.... our new AP sees me, tells me I cannot leave my class unattended, and I get called in to the principal's office and written up! I just don't know what to do! First of all, it's what we've always done. Second, during the meeting, I was told I had to call an administrator if I was to leave the room. Well, in this case, I literally did not have time to wait 5-10 minutes on an administrator (my room is at the very end of the hall). Had I not gone at that moment, I literally would have had an accident.

    I understand that students must be supervised, I get that, but this was truly an emergency and I asked another teacher to watch them. Also, in the meeting I was told, "it's not possible for one person to monitor 60 students." Oh yea, well why do you schedule 120+ kids for 2 PE teachers when they're running around and playing sports? I just feel that being written up was extremely harsh in this situation. Anyone else have a similar situation?
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,348

    Default

    Administrators are often really parnoid about testing. I imagine the materials were still in the room and that is their concern. It sounds like you did all that you could. You should talk to you union rep to see whether this is worth filing a grievance to get the reprimand off your record.

    A fellow teacher got a reprimand for "leaving her students unattended" during a change of classes. She was in the hallway monitoring lockers as we were supposed to. A couple of kids were already in the room and one hit the other. Administrator wrote it up but couldnt answer how the teacher was supposed to be both places at once. It took a formal grievance to get it removed.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    6,693

    Default

    Good lord! Was the AP a man? I have "custody" of my 8th graders from 8:00 to 12:15 with no break...yeah...um...no way in hell I can hold it for that long, not with coffee on board and during certain days of the month, NO way I can not visit the lady's room. My portable partner and I take turns watching the kids. I'd ask your union if you can at least have them listen to you, and see what the next step is. Testing done? then give me a break. An emergency is an emergency. I once took my entire class to our commons for a group potty, because I had no one to watch them, and I couldn't wait.

    I'm pretty sure that there are OSHA rules regarding breaks during a work day, too. Might pay to look those up?
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
    Location
    Indiana
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    10,992

    Default

    Perhaps I'm being dense, but couldn't you have called the admin a bit sooner and gone to the bathroom before you reached your breaking point?


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
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    1,516

    Default

    MsM- I took the testing materials with me, they were not left in the room (the world may have ended had I done that!!).

    Unfortunately here in the good 'ol south, we do not have unions.
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
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    Charlotte
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post
    Perhaps I'm being dense, but couldn't you have called the admin a bit sooner and gone to the bathroom before you reached your breaking point?
    Could not have called them while testing was happening. Cannot use computer during that time, so I couldn't email, and I didn't have a proctor to go get someone.
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,076

    Default

    that really sucks. sounds like a testing protocol mistake. when we are doing mandated testing (every six WEEKS! not even counting state and national tests!), there is always one designated "floater" per grade that sits out in the hallway. that way, if we have an emergency, we can just stick our head out the door and flag him/her down. maybe your P could implement something like that? (although with what a pedantic jerk your AP sounds like, maybe not. O_o)
    My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
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    5,830

    Default

    With state tests here it's definitely mandated not to leave the kids unattended with test materials in the room, but also that a single teacher can't be alone with test materials (I could, as head proctor, pick up exams from special ed separate locations and ferry them back to the main room, but that was only because I was walking through video-taped hallways, and even in sped or ESL rooms with one kid, there would still always be two proctors). So, technically, you leaving the kids in the room would be a violation. What I don't get is why there wouldn't be a second proctor in the room, or a "floater" in the hallway, or why you wouldn't be allowed to use the phone to call for an administrator. What are you supposed to do if there's an emergency? What are kids supposed to do if they have to go to the bathroom? That just seems like poor planning administratively...
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2009
    Location
    On the buckle
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    957

    Default

    Wow, this makes me glad that I work at a private school with reasonable policies. During state testing, someone will periodically look into each test room to see if the test supervisor needs a break or any sort of help. I'm the test coordinator, and I and make sure this happens. Hope you can appeal this which seems to me pretty inhumane.
    Mon Ogon (Mojo), black/bay 16 H TB Gelding


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
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    5,439

    Default

    Yeah, testing materials are a huge issue. You shouldn't have done it, but it is out of line to write you up. It is admin. responsibility to give to a bathroom break every 150 minutes I think. If you don't have a union, I would look up state worker's protection rules. Tell your admin. He broke the rules by not having that set up for you, and he will be in bigger trouble than to are. You had to break the "rules" because they broke the rules.


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    You need a union rep. This may call for a policy revision, but not for a write-up of YOU. I totally agree with Beentheredone that.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    A state of confusion
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    817

    Default

    BTDT - those are state by state rules/mandates so that may or may not apply in this case. Most states do require written documentation of a "testing violation." So if leaving students unattended is deemed a violation, then written documentaion is necessary.

    Janedoe726 - don't stress too much about it. In most cases it is a one time incident for the teacher and the write up is done because it is required. If it becomes a pattern, then you might have a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Yeah, testing materials are a huge issue. You shouldn't have done it, but it is out of line to write you up. It is admin. responsibility to give to a bathroom break every 150 minutes I think. If you don't have a union, I would look up state worker's protection rules. Tell your admin. He broke the rules by not having that set up for you, and he will be in bigger trouble than to are. You had to break the "rules" because they broke the rules.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2008
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Some type of work-place lawyer might be able to help. And the media might be interested if you can get their attention. There was a recent flap about a pregnant woman who had to get permission to take a bathroom break, so this is similar (although she was permitted to do so and was not reprimanded for it as you were!).

    I hope you follow up on this and help make sure that this type of thing doesn't happen to anyone else.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2012
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    1,707

    Default

    I would not make a federal case out of this if I were you. Just smile and ask if you can help set something up for the next time so it doesn't happen again. Then again, if this administrator has it in for you, you need to be careful not to make any mistakes, even if there was never a problem before.

    I once had a principal who just didn't like me. During testing, I called the office because I had a student who had to go. The admin who came to see me disagreed that a student should be able to leave the room. The kid had to pee, jeez! I knew her well, and she was not just trying to get out of the room. This was before cell phones, so there couldn't have been a cheating problem. Anyway, in the process of coming around to my point of view, the admin remarked that I wasn't watching my students-- because I was talking to him! I transferred out of that school at the end of that year. High school is much more reasonable all the way around.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
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    Default

    Thank you all for the support. As of right now, I've written a "rebuttal" for lack of a better word, and asked that it be included in the written reprimand. It basically states that I had no one to relieve me for the duration of the test, and I made a formal request that admin provide bathroom breaks during long periods of testing. We'll see what tomorrow holds....

    And for the record, I am actively seeking a transfer! Please send good transfer vibes my way!
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    13,897

    Default

    You have already done what I was going to suggest. Good luck - that sucks.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2002
    Location
    From the South
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    1,133

    Default

    During our testing, we had the kids from 8:30-11:50-then directly changed classes-no potty break for teachers until after 1:00. For 5 days! Normal day is no potty for teachers ( my grade level ) 8:15-after 12:00-during lunch time. I'm so sorry about your incident-something that needs to be taught-or at least mentioned -when learning to become a teacher.
    Life is great when you can hug a horse.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    That's a good idea - at least you need something in there that explains the situation.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2011
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    766

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by janedoe726 View Post
    Thank you all for the support. As of right now, I've written a "rebuttal" for lack of a better word, and asked that it be included in the written reprimand. It basically states that I had no one to relieve me for the duration of the test, and I made a formal request that admin provide bathroom breaks during long periods of testing. We'll see what tomorrow holds....

    And for the record, I am actively seeking a transfer! Please send good transfer vibes my way!
    You did the correct thing as I see it. Testing material was secure is their main issue I am sure.

    The rebuttal should be placed with your file and that will more than likely be the end of it.



  20. #20

    Default

    Are you an NCAE member?? They may be able to help.



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