Sunday, 6 May 2012

Where's the hand gel?!

As anyone who works with children will know, you are far more exposed to germs, due to the wiping of snot on your hands and the coughing directly into your mouth (yes, it happened, and yes, it was gross). We spend every Friday morning teaching pre-school children who most definitely don't have control over their noses and mouths. This however, as disgusting as it can be, is not their fault. They are young. Youngsters are snotty. But teenagers? Adults? Should they have as many colds and stomach bugs as kids? I thought not. But apparently I was wrong. 

During the winter, teaching can be a severe health hazard. We have all succumbed to something unpleasant. I hadn't had a fever for years, but then BAM! I was struck down with something horrid. Thermometer under arm, 4 blankets one minute and a pair of shorts the next. I just don't GET fevers! I blame the weather. Everyone else does. The winters here can be fairly mild. We had some 18 degree days at the start of December, and the bugs can have an absolute field day in these conditions. Of course, being an English teacher and not a scientist, I have no scientific evidence to support this, but that's 'what people say' around here. And everyone believes that. Italians don't seem to tolerate winters very well, and even though I claimed I was 'used to' slightly colder weather, I definitely wasn't used to everyone else not being used to it. And so they brought the colds and the bugs, sneezed in our faces, and wiped snot on our hands. And as for the kids.... 

So how does one protect oneself from such bio hazards that come with the teaching profession? One student kindly donated this get up:

But if you don't wish to use such extreme measures, maybe try the following:
  • Hand gel. Lots of it. Industrial strength.
  • Vitamin tablets and lots of fruit and veg.
  • Do some exercise. At the end of the summer/autumn I was running 3 times a week and I felt much healthier in general. Then it got cold and I got too lazy.
  • Claim you have an allergy to  young children and therefore can't work within 10 metres of them. 
  • Remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. (But unfortunately makes you feel pretty rotten in the meantime..)
Good luck!!


  1. Lol, I was convinced anyone wearing a facemask was ill here, until one of my students let me in on the secret that a lot of women put one one when they can't be bothered with makeup.

    1. Now that sounds like a plan! Will bear that in mind for my early morning lessons... ;)

  2. Hey! I've just started teaching a group of 4-year-olds and I've got no prior experience with this age group. I shouldn't have been so quick to chuckle at the above post when you published it! this must be karma haha! So my serious question is this: what sort of activities do you do with the children and how do you adjust your teaching style with younger kids? Sarita x x

    1. Hi Sarita! Well, I don't know your class size or ability, but what I can tell you, is to just keep it really really simple. We did numbers 1-10, colours, toys, body parts etc. We did lots of repetition, simple games (like pelmanism and using flyswats to tap pictures on the board), flashcard work and always ended the lesson with some colouring. Think simple and repetitive. They'll pick up words fairly quickly but you'll need to keep using them or they'll forget. Hope this helps! Let me know if you need anymore ideas! :) xx

    2. That's really really useful (the flyswats sounds so good!!) I soon realized that I had to make everything as simple as possible with the children so that they could copy what I said. I had a practise lesson and had to use my initiative so I just did 1, 2, 3 with a game throwing squishy balls into a box and then the word 'mooose' (cos my school is called ALCE and the kids were fascinated by the moose snowglobe I had with me). for each lesson, I'll just think of your motto 'simple and repetitive' thank you so much! x