Do you remember your first year of teaching? There were so many things I wish I would have known ahead of time. One of the things most first year teachers ARE told is that you will get sick, sick quite often your first year of teaching. You will hear various suggestions to help with this . . . . take your vitamins, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
I stumbled across another thing, quite by accident, that made a major difference in my health and the health of my students. I even got several happy notes at the end of the year from moms thanking me for their child having such a healthy kindergarten year. These moms all had older children, so they were prepared for the inevitable viruses that go along with most kindergarten years. They were pleasantly surprised when that didn't happen.
One year when I was setting up my classroom before school started, I set up a squirt station. I took a small shelf that looks like this closetmaid one:
I put a box of tissues and large 28 oz. handsanitizer on top and kept a trashcan next to it. I stored tissues on the shelves below. I taught my students to visit the squirt station when they needed to blow their nose or when they sneezed.
This squirt station was beneficial.
- Less germs because students are cleaning their hands after they blow their nose.
- Dirty tissues are in the trashcan instead of laying around the classroom spreading germs.
- You are healthier, so less sub plans to do. :)
- Your students are healthier. So less tattling from cranky students who don't feel well. Plus, you will have fewer absent students.
P.S. My parents were happy to keep me stocked in handsanitizer and tissues when I explained my system at Back to School night.
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