Four Steps to Staying Healthy in the Classroom
Knee deep in the cold months, we find the cold and flu season upon us. Classrooms and hallways around the country echo with sniffles, wheezes, sneezes, and racking coughs. Unlucky teachers who are caught in the crossfire often find themselves going down for the count rather quickly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though, teachers can also help to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses in schools. By making wise choices and implementing simple preventative measures, teachers can help to keep themselves and their students healthy.
Step One: Maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s been well documented that maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, drinking sufficient fluids, and getting enough rest are key elements in maintaining overall health. Poor nutrition, weight gain, dehydration, and exhaustion can all affect the strength of our immune systems.
Step Two: Promote clean hands. Although most students are taught from a young age to wash their hands after using the restroom or before meals, not all of them practice this simple routine consistently. Furthermore, students do not always have access to soap and water immediately after a coughing or sneezing attack. Be sure to keep an alcohol-based hand rub in your supply kit and share it with students and colleagues as often as needed.
Step Three: Keep your hands away from your face. Rubbing your eyes, licking your thumb before turning the page of a book, or using your fingernail to dislodge something stuck between your teeth — these are more than just bad manners. They’re habits that allow bacteria direct access to your system.
Step Four: Clean and disinfect surfaces and classroom objects. Recommended by the CDC, this important step calls you to focus on classroom danger zones: desktops, doorknobs, light switches, drawer handles, and so forth. When substitute teaching or guest lecturing in a new room, you could do worse than to arrive a few minutes early to wipe down key areas before the students arrive with disinfecting wipes.
Throughout the cold winter months and the rest of the school year, be sure to put these steps into practice in order to ensure a more healthy environment for you and your students.
For more classroom tips, please feel free to contact us.