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Mind over Bladder: The Busy-Ness of Teaching

by Neil Finney

First break arrives and you set your sights on the nearest washroom door, but wait, you have a duty!

Oh no, you think, as you stride down the hallway to the classroom where you supervise students as they eat.

I have to hold on just a little longer.

It is often the small things that we tend to overlook and take for granted. As teachers, we know that the constant demands of the working day take their toll on some of these things; having a conversation with colleagues, eating a snack (or lunch altogether), and most notably, using the washroom.

We train our bladders to coincide with recesses and planning times. We are the masters of our own bodies when we step inside school walls. We can often go an entire day without peeing – which is quite a feat considering the coffee, tea and water intake to which we subject ourselves.

I look forward to workshops and professional development activities that operate under the “adult learning model” – basically, that you can leave and do what you need to do, when you need to do it. This includes using the washroom during that critical period 30 minutes after you see the bottom of your coffee cup.

So how can we survive and thrive in a scenario that sees our bladders bearing the brunt of the damage?

Well, pairing up with another teacher in a nearby classroom that can keep an eye on your students in an emergency situation could help. (This becomes difficult, though, if you teach in a portable). You could even try to time your drinks in a way that lead up to the treasured lunch break or before-and-after school times.

No matter how you cope with the challenge, you need to look after yourself and find the time to go pee. It matters! Have a pee plan and your bladder will thank you.

What tips and tricks do you use to cope with the busy-ness of teaching? What advice do you have for new teachers? 



Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  • http://adunsiger.com Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca)

    Neil, your post made me chuckle because it really is so very true! Taking a break during the day can be so hard to do. There’s always something to keep us busy. For me, I commit to spending 20 minutes a day outside of my classroom. I always have bus duty after school, so I never have nutrition break duty. As such, I try to keep the first 20 minutes of at least one nutrition break as a time when I’ll be in the classroom to help students.

    I try to always schedule a 20 minute break just for me though. Sometimes I’ll even write my name on the board next to the nutrition break just to remind myself that this is my “me time.” It’s important. A break doesn’t need to be long to do the trick. How do you ensure that you get a break?


    • http://neilfinney.blogspot.com neil

      Great idea of “me” time Aviva! As a creature of habit, there are set times each day that I can devote my attention to “me.” The 10 minutes before the school day begins or the 20 minutes after it finishes are generally when I can collect my thoughts, maybe hit a washroom and gear up for the next day and its many promises!

      Busy days sure do race by – I think that it is crucial that we set goals for ourselves, every day, to ensure that we make the most of it. Carpe Diem! Bladder-focused or not…