August 31, 2012 : Germs in the Classroom: How to keep you and your students healthy this year

Germs in the Classroom: How to keep you and your students healthy this year

One of the most difficult parts of being a teacher is the frequency with which you are going to encounter various types of sicknesses throughout the year. Kids are living, breathing, walking, talking, incubators of some of the nastiest germs out there, and if you haven’t been acclimated to an environment full of these germs, your immune system may not be up to fighting off the colds, coughs, and flu symptoms your body will entertain throughout the year.

If you are a new teacher you are bound to be worn down by the stress and nature of the job. Taking time off can be costly, both financially and to your professional reputation. So how do you go about staying disease free throughout an entire year? Below we have listed some tips in order to help make sure that you can spend more time worrying about your lesson plans than you’re your insurance plan

Flu shot – it’s recommended that you get one of these every year, many school districts no supply and/or require teachers to receive these.

Multivitamins – Take a multivitamin when you start to notice the first few signs of your classroom environment being invaded by germs.

Wipe down all tables/doorknobs/keyboards daily with disinfecting wipes daily. If not daily, on a very regular basis, don’t set your class up to become one giant Petri dish.

At all costs avoid using the same tissue box as the students, keep one in your desk or bag that the students won’t have access to.

Also avoid using the same pens, pencils, or other art supplies as the students. Have your own “teacher set” of supplies.

Instruct your students on how to cough into their elbows instead of their hands.

Avoid eye rubbing, nose scratching, etc, during the school day; the less your hands are touching your face, the better.

Stay hydrated, every teacher should have a water bottle that they fill up throughout the day. This not only keeps you healthy, but sets an example for students to stay hydrated with water instead of with sugary drinks.

Try and get 8 hours of sleep a night. This isn’t always possible, especially in those first few years of teaching, but eventually with enough practice, you’ll learn how to balance your time in order to treat yourself to the proper amount of sleep.

Wash your hands thoroughly when you get home. Pretend you are a doctor about to “scrub in” and get all the way up to your elbows, this may seem excessive, but in the end it is worth it.

Change your clothes when you arrive home and put your school clothes in the laundry, also make sure that you keep your laundry basket outside of you r bedroom.

When you cannot find a sink, use hand sanitizing wipes in order to make sure that your hands are not spreading illness from you’re your students to you.

Hopefully by following these tips you can get to winter break, spring break, and then summer break without having battled too many difficult illnesses. Good luck this year!


   
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