Stay Healthy In & Out of the Classroom

Ugh...during the month of December, what started as a pretty mean sinus infection segued into a bout of pneumonia. I felt like I was functioning in survival mode for the entire month...& ended up having to be out of my classroom for SIX days right before Christmas break. December was kind of a bust....the holidays happened. That's about all I can say about that. haha!

During the last two weeks of school, 25% of my kiddos were also out sick. Notice a pattern? Yeah....for all of our sakes, it's time to pay attention to staying healthy in & out of the classroom. I scoured the internet, & asked real teachers for their own tips & tricks....

1. Stock up on antibacterial wipes, Lysol, & even latex gloves. Make sure to check your district's policy on antibacterail wipes & hand sanitizer. Consider sending home a note asking for donations from families!
2. Declutter! It's much easier to wipe down a clear surface.
3. Lysol all tables, desks, & surfaces daily. Don't forget doorknobs, faucet handles, or cabinet handles!
4. Wipe down computer keyboards, headphones, & telephone with antibacterial wipes. Wear latex gloves when using antibacterial wipes...the solution can soak into your skin & kills the good along with the bad bacteria. Your body needs the good bacteria to fight off illness.
5. Use latex gloves when cleaning areas in your classroom....especially areas like student desks or workstations.
6. Place tissues & hand sanitizer in multiple places around the room, near trash cans, for easy access for your students' use.

1. Never use the same tissues as your students. Keep the community tissue box away from your desk. Put it in another area so that coughs & sneezes don't land in your area. Establish
2. Never use students' pencils, crayons, or scissors. Consider wearing an apron in which to store your supplies, or purchasing a lanyard pen.
3. Don't allow students to use YOUR materials. Your scissors, pens, markers, & dry erase markers should be OFF LIMITS to students. Keep a basket of dry erase markers near your easel or whiteboard for student use (just make sure to routinely disinfect these!)
4. Never touch your face during the school day. Don't rub your eyes, scratch your nose, etc. It's a hard habit to break...but so important to do!
5. Make sure to keep your water bottle or cup away from student areas. Don't bring it with you to your small group table where kiddos may cough near it!
6. Wear latex gloves when sharpening student pencils.

1. Teach kiddos to cough or sneeze in their elbows instead of their hands. The material will stop the spread of droplets, which contain germs. Since the inside of the elbow rarely touches other surfaces, the likelihood of spreading germs is greatly reduced. By the way...did you know that research shows when someone coughs or sneezes in their hands, germs can live on the palms for UP TO 3 HOURS?!
2. Modify morning greetings so that kiddos aren't shaking hands. Maybe a fist bump or a silly elbow shake?
3. Teach kiddos to keep their hands away from their nose, eyes, or mouths. When you notice a child touching his/her face, give a gentle reminder, & have him/her go wash their hands.
4. Make it a habit to have kiddos wash their hands any time they enter the room. Kiddos are exposed to a wide variety of items that have been touched by others in playgrounds, cafeterias, gym class, & other common areas.

1. Wash your hands often. Hand sanitizer will kill bacteria...but does nothing against viruses. A good old hand washing with soap & water will wash away viruses.
2. Wash your hands & arms up to your elbows with hot water & soap as soon as you get home. This will prevent you from bringing home germs that will make your family sick.
3. Change your clothes as soon as you get home so you don't spread germs from school around your home.
4. Drink plenty of water daily. Staying hydrated is crucial to your health. Just make sure to keep your water away from areas where it could be exposed to germs from coughs or sneezes.
5. Get plenty of rest! Getting enough sleep each night helps your body fight off those germs & viruses.
6. Consider getting a flu shot each year.
7. Take a good daily multi-vitamin.
8. Consider looking into essential oils. Many teachers swear by them & diffuse them in their classrooms and homes every day.

Any other tips or tricks? I'd love to hear them!!