Germs... germs everywhere!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherfelly, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. teacherfelly

    teacherfelly Rookie

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    Apr 8, 2013

    As I am preparing for a microbiology exam and having a conversation with a cousin of mine (a nurse in NY), the conversation of the dreaded first year of school came up. You know, that first year that your child starts school and becomes exposed to so many different bacteria that it seems like your household is always sick. It leaves me wondering... How sick are teachers during their first year? Do Kindergarten teachers get it the worst or is it across the board that a new teacher is going to get sick? Anyone want to share how of they were sick their first year of teaching?
     
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  3. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    I don't even think it's the first year of teaching- but really the first year at any school. I was sick frequently during my student teaching experience because I was new to schools, and new to all the particular germs at the schools. Same thing occurred my first year teaching, despite my efforts to wash, wash, wash my hands!
     
  4. teacherfelly

    teacherfelly Rookie

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    I guess that makes sense. New location, new microbes. Any tricks you used to help you fight through?
     
  5. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Yup, I usually get sick every time I go to a new school. Unfortunately, this is relatively often. I just make sure to try to wash my hands as much as possible, don't use the kids' pencils or other supplies, and take vitamin C at home. It seems to help a little, but I haven't been able to prevent it completely.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 8, 2013

    Baby wipes...have kids clean their desks frequently

    Sink in classroom...I wash my hands constantly

    Have kids wash hands frequently

    Teach kids to cough and sneeze into elbow

    Lysol spray

    Vitamin C, lots of fluids

    I have my own box of Kleenex, markers, etc...untouched by kids
     
  7. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    I have kids wipe down their desks at least once a week. I also use a lot of Lysol.

    Their bathroom passes are bottles of hand sanitizer that they put on their desks to let me know they are in the restroom. Once they return they must use a pump before returning the pass to its rightful place. I also have them use hand sanitizer before getting on the classroom iPad and/or the classroom computer.

    I use a lot of hand sanitizer myself and like czacza I also have my own box of Kleenex and supplies that I use (although I have been known to grab a crayon or kid's scissors in a pinch without thinking about it, but I make SURE to immediately clean my hands afterwards).

    This is my first year and *knock on wood* I haven't been sick...
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I can't explain it, but I didn't get sick much as a new teacher. I only had one year as a teacher that I got sick a lot out of 20+. It is a bit surprising as I was sick a whole lot more when I was a child and a teenager.

    I have plenty of germ stories and there are lots of germs in schools. If I was a "germ a phobe" (please excuse spelling), I would have been out of teaching a long time ago.
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I just had one of those, "Hey! Why didn't I think of that?" moments! Great idea! I'm takin' it! :thumb:
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I saw this on Pinterest...I really need to do this!!

    My teacher friend warned me that I'd get the worst diseases imaginable my first year, but thankfully that hasn't happened. I have gotten a couple of colds, but I haven't been sick enough to miss work. In my case, I think it's because I've been working with kids in schools in some capacity for about 6 years, so it's not my first time being exposed to all those germs. Maybe I've built up some immunity?

    I also use hand sanitizer like my life depends on it...:D First graders are...germy.

    But I use the kids' supplies all the time...oops.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Apr 11, 2013

    I didn't get too sick my first year, but I had been teaching in a preschool/ daycare for several years while I was going to college. My husband caught everything that went around my classroom though. Now I wash my hands and change my clothes as soon as I get home from school.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Eww... A kid in my class last week gnawed the middle of a pencil...looked like a beaver had done it...he handed me the pencil to use as I was working with him at his desk...gross.:unsure:

    Pencil went in garbage

    I washed like I was prepping for surgery

    Kid got a new pencil


    Yuck yuck yuck
     
  13. teacherfelly

    teacherfelly Rookie

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    So it seems the general consensus is Lysol and hand sanitizer. Any idea what the threshold is between using too little and using too much? I worry that if I over use hand sanitizer it will destroy not just my natural flora but the kids natural flora too. I think it's a good idea to wipe down desks and to have your own box of Kleenex, markers, and basically anything that you have to touch that you can have your own of. I like the idea of hand sanitizer after the bathroom since there's a good chance the kid could have come back without having washed his or her hands.

    However, having them use hand sanitizer before they touch anything? Is that going to be too much? I guess it would depend on how often they're touching classroom objects.

    I really appreciate all of the advice. I'm not really much of a germaphobe but I do get sick every winter. It does make me worry about missing school days. I am just trying to think ahead :)
     
  14. teacherfelly

    teacherfelly Rookie

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    :eek: That would probably make me cringe too. I knew a lot of kids in my school age years who chewed on their pencils. Considering the mouth is a cesspool of bacteria... yuck is right. Something I learned from this: have plenty of pre-sharpened pencils in supply.
     
  15. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I would just remember that hand-washing is always preferable and more effective than hand sanitizer when possible, and it's better to use regular soap and water than antibacterial soap. Also make sure your hand sanitizer is alcohol-based, and if you want to be extra careful, make sure your soap and sanitizer don't contain controversial ingredients like triclosan. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/07/AR2010040704621.html
     
  16. teacherfelly

    teacherfelly Rookie

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    Thanks for the tips Bison!
     
  17. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I make a bucket of bleach water and put all the kids supplies in it and air dry them (crayons included.) When finished with the bleaching, I spray them with Lysol and air dry again.
    I hadn't been doing this and I ended up with strept throat last week for the first time in years.
    I spray the room with Lysol and wipe down the books on the bookshelf, wipe down puzzles, dolls, anything washable and then spray them. I was out of Lysol last week and that's when I got sick.
    I scrub the sink with bleach, all door knobs and counters, etc.
     
  18. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    I wish I had a sink in my classroom...
     
  19. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Apr 12, 2013

    This year I have a child with.....sphincter muscle control issues (with a Dr. note). He drops tiny little "surprises"on my floor from time to time. It's a whole new level of germs in my room. (And a challenge to my stomach. :( )
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Gross.
     
  21. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    I don't know if I could deal with that...I am a bit of a germaphobe.
     
  22. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    It's rough, but I don't have a choice. He's part of my class and he deserves y time like the rest,even when it's hard.
     
  23. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Ever watch your kids wash their hands during a restroom break? I have a few students who wash their hands like they're prepping for surgery. :lol: What kills me is when a kid puts a glob of soap on one hand, runs it quickly under the water, and then runs the opposite hand under water with nothing.
     
  24. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    One year I had a group of girls who would sing their ABC's while washing their hands!
     
  25. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

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    Apr 17, 2013

    It's my second year teaching in my second school. I taught third grade last year and first grade this year. I am sick all. The. Time. At least every other week I have at least a cold. I feel another cold coming on right now. It's a lot worse than last year. First graders are...as another poster said...extra germy. Plus parents send their kids to school sick a lot because they can't stay with them. I've been really struggling. The worst was pneumonia! :eek: Like others, I just take emergen-c as often as possible, drink a lot of OJ and water, sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. I think I need to do more lysoling...
     

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