There’re many controversial topics in the teaching profession, ranging from facial piercings, tattoos, and other body art, to teachers having colored hair.
One such topic is whether teachers can use or go into student bathrooms. In a society that has become quite sensitive, it’s easy for an innocent act to be translated differently.
This article will consider various aspects of this debate and then we’ll make our fair recommendation.
Why Teachers Enter Student Bathrooms
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We all know the feeling of needing to urgently use the bathroom. The closest available bathroom is most likely the best option in this case.
Caution is thrown away in such instances especially if the teacher’s bathroom is situated far from your present location.
As much as you may not like using the student’s bathroom, in such a situation your choices are limited and nature has to take its cause.
Some teachers in these situations have suggested simply asking two or three students to go inside and verify there’s no other student inside before they come out and stand guard some distance from the entrance to prevent any other student from coming in.
This may seem extreme but it’s effective and avoids any uncomfortable situation except with the students guarding the entrance.
2. Teachers’ Bathroom Occupied
There’re only a few things more annoying than wanting to use the bathroom only to find out there’s someone else inside.
Waiting is the best option available especially if, there’re only a few staff bathrooms available or the second closest staff bathroom is some distance away.
Unfortunately, waiting is not always an option, using any available bathroom even if it happens to be the students’ bathroom.
In such a situation, you can choose to either go directly to the students’ bathroom or get two or three trusted students to keep guard from a distance while you use the bathroom.
This isn’t exactly using the student bathroom but more like simply entering. An emergency in the bathroom concerning a student’s injury or something else is enough justification to enter the students’ bathroom.
4. Discourage Student Missing Classes
Some students decide to hang out in the bathroom during class hours knowing the bathroom is the one place teachers are least likely to find them.
Teachers are sometimes forced to enter students’ bathrooms to find such learners and also dissuade this behavior and mentality.
5. Increase Accountability
Teachers using the same bathroom or entering students’ bathrooms brings some form of accountability.
Students become aware that words spoken could be heard by a teacher there and therefore become mindful of their statements and the kind of words they use.
6. Shared Bathrooms
Although some educational institutions have separate bathrooms for both teachers and students, this isn’t the case in others.
Teachers in some institutions share the same bathrooms with learners. This comes with some dangers in our modern society but teachers in such a scenario have no other options.
Teachers and students sharing a bathroom could be a result of the educational institution’s financial challenges.
7. Locked Bathrooms
There’re many reasons a bathroom could be locked at a school. A typical example could be students sneaking into the teachers’ bathroom and possibly leaving it messy.
To avoid these, some schools provide their permanent teachers with individual keys to the bathroom but don’t make room for substitute teachers.
Other institutions may have both teachers’ and students’ bathrooms at the same place but simply keep a door or two locked for teachers.
This means a substitute teacher needs to go to a permanent teacher to collect their keys whenever they need to the bathroom.
Unfortunately, this becomes an issue when the permanent teacher isn’t around and the sub needs to use the bathroom urgently.
In this case, the only option left to the teacher is to leverage any bathrooms available irrespective of their reservations.
8. Outside Class Hours
It’s understandable to use the student bathroom especially when classes are over and students have already left for their homes.
In this case, it may be easier and faster to simply use the students’ bathroom as opposed to a teachers’ bathroom located from the teacher’s current position.
Why Teachers Don’t Like Sharing Bathroom With Students
Let’s face it, no one likes sharing a bathroom, least of all the awkwardness that follows meeting your students in the bathroom.
Both learners and teachers feel this awkwardness as teachers don’t want learners to catch them in such a vulnerable state while students would also like some privacy in school, a place where they can speak freely with their friends away from the prying eyes of their teachers.
The last thing any teachers needs is learners gossiping about the color of their underwear or how they forgot to wash or dry their hands after using the bathroom.
Gossip is a major concern in this situation and most teachers would rather avoid such a situation.
It’s no secret that students can be messy sometimes especially when they aren’t very mature.
To avoid confronting a messy bathroom, teachers would rather have their own bathrooms. This limits the probability of the bathroom being dirty or something getting broken.
4. Wrong Impression
In this age of cultural sensitivity, the last thing a teacher needs is having a situation misinterpreted and ruining their lives as a result.
Most teachers would rather not put their professions at risk as a simple accusation could easily lead to such a situation.
Yes. Although not advisable, teachers can use student bathrooms in an emergency or in schools where teachers and students share a bathroom.
In a situation where you have an option, it’s always advisable to use a teacher’s bathroom even when it’s some distance away.
If you’re in an urgent situation, the best option is to ensure that you have two or three students at a distance on guard outside to avoid any student mistakenly entering and leaving room for any accusations from onlookers.