It seems that no matter where I go, I hear high school teachers complaining about the same thing: student trips to the bathroom. It seems such trips are always “too long” and “just so they can get out of the room.” I have a couple of observations.
**1.** Yes, they are leaving your classroom for reasons other than going to the lav.
**2.** They are leaving for as long as they think they can away with it.
**3.** They are leaving because wandering the halls is more interesting than your class.
I always feel that if you’re having issues with this sort of thing, you need to spend some time thinking about what sort of engaging activities you are doing in your classroom. Honestly: if walking the empty halls is more fun than what you’re doing, I’d leave your classroom too.
It also seems that the people who complain most about this sort of thing are the same folks who have their class standing by the door waiting to leave four minutes before the bell. That, I’m afraid, makes you a hypocrite. You can’t complain about kids leaving your room for ten minutes when you’re throwing away twenty minutes a week.