One of the biggest rules in the ILP program is that we're never to leave our kids alone in the classroom. Ever. And we never let a child go into the hall by their self either. Ever. So when someone has to go to that bathroom, EVERYONE goes to the bathroom. And when we have an emergency, the teacher next door has to watch both groups of kids, while the other goes and finds a Chinese teacher.
So, when Erica (co-teacher) poked her head into my classroom today in the middle of my lesson, I immediately knew there was something crazy going on.
"I need you to come here," she said, waving me towards the door.
"What's wrong?" I asked, while trying to keep Phil's hands out of my backpack and Emma planted in her seat.
"Oh, wait, never mind." She said, and she walked back into her room. Confused, I turned back to the seven faces looking at me, waiting to hear in detail what the Dwarves of Snow White do underground. Before I could get a full sentence out, Erica was back in my door.
"I really need you to come here, she really has to go to the bathroom, she's crying..."
I got up, turning quickly to shout: "STAY IN YOUR SEATS!" and walked to my door and peaked around the corner, into Erica's doorjamb. Standing in her own little puddle of tinkle, her hands by sides and her tiny head hanging low as she cried silently, was my precious Ruth. Erica stood there, dumbfounded at the fact that there was piddle in her classroom and the other kids were pointing and laughing at Ruth, so I immediately flew into action. I told Erica to take my class into her room and then reached out for her hand, told her: "It's okay, sweet pea, let's go find someone to help us," and walked out of the room with her in tow, listening to the tiny squishy sounds her footsteps made down the hall.
We walked down the steps to the third floor, where Kelly's (foreign coordinator) office is. I felt a knot of dread in my stomach as I realized the lights were off and no one was there. What on Earth was I going to do now with this small, sad, wet child? I told her quietly that we were going to go back upstairs, thinking that we might see one of my head teachers. Thankfully, Shantel was at the top of the stairs as we climbed up and after discussing the situation, Shantel called Kelly on her cellphone and received instruction on what to do with Ruth.
Moral of the story is that when a kid has to pee, you take them to the potty, even if you have to take every one with you, and even if it cuts into the middle of a good lesson. Because there is nothing more heartbreaking then having to hold the hand of a small child who has peed her pants as you frantically search for a teacher to help.