The Proper Way to Flush a Toilet…and When to STOP!

Welcome to my first post. I have been following several blogs for over a year now and always think to myself as I am reading them, I should be doing this, because Lord knows I have a lot to say. Between my adventures in motherhood and my adventures in teaching first grade my life is actually quite comical most days, even if I am the punchline of the joke.

It amazes me that no matter how many things I teach my students there is always something I forget to mention. Let’s take class rules for example. There are the obvious of course. Keep your hands and feet to yourself. Raise your hand to speak. No running in the class, etc. Then there are the other kinds of rules like blow your nose in a tissue and put it in the trash, wash your hands after you use the bathroom, and keep your fingers out of your nose. But, apparently there was one big rule I forgot to teach my students. If you plug the toilet please do not continue to flush it over and over. Friday one of my little darlings raised his hand and politely asked to use the bathroom, which is in the back of our classroom. He was in there for a while taking care of business but then came out and went to his seat. I was in the middle of teaching and failed to notice the trail of wet footprints he was leaving on the carpeting.

About five minutes later another student asked to go to the bathroom. She walks in and walks right back out.
“Mrs. Bietler,” she says, “there is water on the floor.”

I didn’t get alarmed. When you have 28 first graders all using one bathroom to wash their hands there is often some water on the floor. “That’s okay,” I tell her. “You can still use the bathroom.”

“But there is water on the floor,” she repeats. The look on her face is rather distressed, she clearly needs to pee, and quickly as she is now bobbing up and down doing the perfect potty dance.

I walk back to the bathroom and the first words to pop out of my mouth are “WHAT THE…” Luckily I remembered there were little ears listening and managed to not finish the sentence. The bathroom was wall to wall water an inch deep and the toilet was filled to overflowing. Thank God there was nothing “floating” in the bowl or on the floor!

Almost immediately I had twenty plus little kids standing behind me trying to see what the hubbub was all about. “Did someone poop on the floor?” a kid asks. “Ooh…I know who did that,” the class tattle tale immediately shouts.

“Go back to your seats,” I tell them and call the office. “Help, we have an overflowing toilet.” In two minutes I have one custodian and two maintenence men in my room, which the students find terribly exciting.

“Are we getting a new toilet?” “Why did the water come out?” “Who are those guys?” “What are they going to do?” To say six year olds are easily excited is an understatement. I didn’t even try to teach while the plunging and the mopping were taking place, they wouldn’t have listened to me anyway at that moment. Once all the excitement came to an end we then had a class discussion about the proper way to use a toilet and what to do if it doesn’t go down. Of course, this caused every hand in the classroom to go up and I was forced to listen to well over a dozen “yucky toilet stories” from the children before I finally said enough!

Still, a valuable was learned…by me. On the first day of school not only will I model proper hand washing skills, but now toilet flushing will be part of the lesson as well.

%d bloggers like this: