Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reading, Writing, 'Rithmatic

Don't you love Back to School time? School zones start back up, the line to checkout at Target is out the door, and school buses clog up traffic.

Being a teacher, this time means that my summer vacation is over and I will have about 120 students staring at me, watching my every move (no, not at the same time. I teach 5 classes). For parents, this means not having to come up with activities to entertain your kid (replaced with homework!).

Now, for those of you who do not fall under either of those two may wonder what I have under my sleeve....I would like to discuss health in schools and how it can influence our actions.

This is what the Mayo Clinic had to say about kids spreading germs:

"Many childhood illnesses are caused by viruses. All it takes is a single child to bring a virus to school for the spread to begin. Consider this common scenario — a child who has a cold coughs or sneezes in the classroom. The children sitting nearby inhale the infected respiratory droplets and the cold spreads. Or perhaps a child who has diarrhea uses the toilet and returns to the classroom without washing his or her hands. Illness-causing germs might spread from anything the sick child touches to other children who touch the same object and then put their fingers in their mouths."

You may think this may not affect you, but it does. Because where do kids go when they get out of school? They go to the grocery store, the movie theater, the playground, Target...all sorts of places. And they spread their germs (cue the terrifying music)...

(I just reread what I have written and I would like to make a side note. I love children and I love my job. It is getting sick that I don't like. Sorry for sounding so doom and gloom!!)

So, how can we combat sickness?

1. Wash your hands with soap and water! Or at least use a hand sanitizer, especially after using the bathroom (I just went to a workshop and they told us that washing your hands with soap and water is the best defense against germs. You can use hand sanitizer, but wash your hands as soon as you get the chance).

2. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. The latest way of teaching how to cover your mouth is to sneeze or cough into your elbow (seriously, there are even posters on how to do in the bathroom at my school).
This exact poster!

3. Keep your hands away from your eyes and face. This is something that my mom told me about last year as I was about to start my student teaching. The eyes are an easy way for germs to get into your system.

4. Be careful with sharing. You never know when someone is on the verge of getting sick, so its best to stick with not sharing drinks or other items.

5. Avoid sick people! Unless you are a doctor, there is no need for you to stand near someone who is sneezing or coughing (for those of you who are married and/or have children, just be really careful when around that person).

I know a lot of these are common sense, but a reminder never hurts. Good luck to all the students (in all forms of school)! I hope you all stay healthy as the school year begins!!

(For teachers: my mom swears by a saline nasal spray called Simply Saline. She says it is what keeps her healthy throughout the year...

(And another side note)
Me and some of my seniors from last year...


  1. Loved your post! I just found out I have lice in my class! :)

  2. Hand washing is definitely the best defense. I remember reading that hand sanitizer isn't as useful when people overuse (like those who work in hospitals/etc). :)