Sunday, July 15, 2012

Restroom Passes - Necessary?

When I was in high school, we had to sign out to use the restroom and take a pass with us.  I always wondered what the purpose was of the pass.  Was it in case I got lost?  I was 17 years old in a small school of about 600 students. If I got lost in my school, then I probably deserved to spend another year learning my way around.  Was it so that others knew where I belonged? There were no hall monitors, and I never was stopped and asked by a teacher where my hall pass was. And if I really wanted to roam the hallways, I would have done it with or without a pass.

With that in mind, let's ask ourselves something else.  Why does a third grader need a hall pass?  The student and their buddy walk 10 or 20 yards to the restroom.  Are bathroom passes necessary?

I know your thinking that I'm being ridiculous.  Who cares about bathroom passes?  This is the stuff I think about when I am driving to school or going for a healthy run. True story. Can't help it!

So with this question in mind, I did what any other curious person would do in the world of technology.....I googled it.  Surprisingly, there isn't much out there on the study of hall passes.  Maybe I found a topic for my next dissertation.  Sure does sound like a scholarly topic.  However, I did find this one interesting......Click Here!  The author of this article, a student, shares some my opinions.  If students do not see the value, then why?

I originally started thinking about restroom passes after I thought about the first week of school procedures that I have to teach. The first one is how to use the restroom appropriately including how to wash our hands!  It is our hope that we can trust our students to wash their hands throughly after using the restroom.  But think about if they don't, or don't do it well.  They have to carry that restroom pass in their hand all the way back to the classroom and then pass it along to the next student.  Not good, not clean.

Since it seems like the "traditional" thing to do, I will hop on the Hall Pass Train.  Except, I will use hall passes that require very little touching by little hands!

Below is a picture of what I use. I purchased Vertical ID Badge Holders and Lanyards from Staples. I then printed labels to fit inside.  I hung the passes on my bulletin board by the door with a thumb tack.  Simply put, students take the hall pass, place it around their neck, use the restroom, wash their hands, and hang it back up.

You can download the printable here for free!  Hope this helps make your classroom run a little more smoothly and helps keep everything clean!

No, I do not understand the purpose of the hallway pass.  Yes, I do use them in my classroom.  My third graders love them!  When they wear that hallway pass around their neck, you would think they were wearing a gold medal!  Even more interesting, my students were learning responsibility.  They loved these passes so much that they really took care of them. They hung them up neatly, they reminded each other when they forgot to take it off and put it back, and if it broke, they fixed it.

But of course, I knew that's what my students were going to learn......