I have to go to the bathroom!!!

Not me. The kids! But I do too. That's a whole other story!!!...

I was so sick and tired of my kiddies asking me (every-five-minutes) "Can I go to the bathroom?" I was also sick of asking, "Is it an emergency???!!!????"And then watching them jump and down like they were about to have an accident....only to watch them slowly walk to the restroom, taking their sweet time as if there was nothing more important to do (come on people!!!). Seriously, if they were moving any slower, they'd be going backwards. And I would have to stand at the door, screaming down the hallway (apologies to the all of the classrooms within a hundred yard radius) "HURRY UUUUPPPPPP!!!!!!"

Enter, Bathroom Passes.

Every Monday morning, the kiddos get a bathroom pass:

They are responsible for putting their name and date on it, and keeping it in a super safe spot. 

If they have to go to the bathroom during class time, they take out their bathroom pass and tear it up. (So sad.) 

If they have to go to the bathroom again during class time, they owe me a minute of their recess time. 

And here's the fun part....

If they still have their bathroom pass on Friday, they get to put it in the "Friday Bathroom Pass Raffle!!!!!" I choose three bathroom passes randomly and these three lucky kiddos (who have not wasted any class time using the restroom!!!) get to pick a prize.

This is basically a bunch of crap really cool stuff from the dollar store or donated from parents. And boy, is it motivating. They want those prizes, and they'll do everything in their power (including, imagine this- use the restroom at recess and lunchtime! Amazing!) to keep their bathroom pass! 

Of course there are exceptions and kiddos who have true bathroom issues. But..... 

This has really eliminated the wasted bathroom time in my classroom!!! Yipeee! My colleagues are also benefiting from this bribe super sophisticated system because I am no longer screaming down the hallways at the top of my lungs. 

If you'd like, you can get some bathroom passes here

What are your bathroom procedures??? Please share! :)

Tomorrow is Friday!!! :-) 


  1. My kids know they are not aloud to go to the bathroom when I am teaching. They don't even ask because they know I am going to say no. I established this at the beginning of the year. We go to the bathroom as a class about 3 times in the day. I do allow a few select/responsible students go to the bath on their own if it is an emergency, but never when someone else is in there.

  2. Ugh, that's one question I H-A-T-E to hear..."Can I go to the bathroom?" The other is "Can I sharpen my pencil?" We did something similar when I taught 5th grade. We all switched (all 5 teachers, we were departmentalized) and never knew who had gone, needed to go, etc. We gave each child at the beginning of the 6 weeks a bathroom pass that had 15 spaces on it. They could go to the bathroom anytime (as long as we were not teaching) until they filled up that pass. Once it was full, TOO BAD! If they lost it, they had to owe us a full recess. That really helped keep those kiddos responsible and helped to manage their time. I miss that in 2nd grade, but I like this idea. Thanks for sharing :)

    Following Optimism

  3. I am SO glad I am not the only one who hears that question 100 times each day. I get SO mad when they ask me 10 minutes after we went as a class. They must be crazy. =)

    Ms. Smith
    Adventures of Ms. Smith

  4. Great idea! I'm your newest follower!I teach kindergarten, so I'm lucky to have a bathroom in my room so we don't have really special procedures. The novelty of the bathroom wore off after the 1st week when they realized it smelt really bad in there because of weird pipes and water!

  5. Oh my word!! The bathroom is such a problem!! I love this suggestion!!! Perhaps I will finally figure out which kiddos are leaving messes

  6. Oh my goodness, I love this!!! My kids are constantly trying to leave for the bathroom, I'd love to do class breaks but it's frowned on by our administration. Gotta use every possible minute of instructional time!
    Stories From Second

  7. Thank you SOOO much for sharing this. I have about 5 students who never seem to "need" to go during our breaks...but 5 minutes later...

    I just printed these out and will start this tomorrow!!!


    Fun in Room 4B

  8. woooooooooooow,I love this idea,thank you for sharing,this is how creative teachers can be:)

    Enjoy Teaching English

  9. Love it! I give each student 4-6 bathroom passes each semester. At the end of the term (two terms in a semester) I will take 2-3 unused passes as homework passes (basically extra credit). If they run out... tough luck! Though I do tell them they can buy them from other students if they like. There are other bathroom pass techniques I write about here, http://www.eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2014/01/i-have-to-go-to-bathroom.html but the incentive pass is normally what I use.