By Teachers, For Teachers
If you want to reduce your chances of getting sick, then it’s important to use classroom management techniques to maintain a clean and healthy classroom environment.
While it may be hard to avoid being exposed to germs and viruses, you can take actions to reduce the chances of you or your students from getting sick. Here are five classroom management techniques to bring about a cleaner, healthier classroom.
Instead of trying to maintain a clean and healthy classroom all by yourself, try passing off some of the responsibility to your students. Assign each student a classroom job, from wiping down desks and countertops to cleaning out the trash and recycle bin. You will find that it will be much easier to rid your classroom of germs and clutter with the help of your students. Another added benefit is that students learn a little bit of responsibility, as well as some good cleaning habits.
The custodial staff is usually really good about keeping the classrooms clean both before and after school, but when school is in session, it is up to you to keep it clean. You can contain the spread of germs by keeping desks, countertops, sinks, and any dispensers clean. Wiping or spraying down doorknobs and other objects that are constantly being touched by students will help too. Clorox just came out with a new disinfectant spray that kills bacteria and germs both airborne and on hard and soft surfaces within 30 seconds, it’s called Clorox 4 in One. Make this product a staple in your classroom.
If you see a student who is constantly coughing or who just doesn’t look like they feel well, send them to the school nurse. These students are spreading germs in your classroom, and the best way to decrease the chances that you or anyone else in the classroom will get sick is to send that student to the nurse. The nurse can then determine whether the student is sick enough that he/she should be sent home from school. It’s also a good idea to encourage parents in the beginning of the school year to keep their children home if they are ill, because when they send them to school sick, they are just spreading their germs to everyone in the classroom.
You can help minimize the germs that are spread in your classroom by eliminating the classroom objects that attract germs. Sofas, carpets, and bean bag chairs are breeding grounds for germs and allergens. Get a tightly woven carpet instead of a plush carpet, or opt for a vinyl bean bag chair that can be wiped down easily over a fabric one. These types of objects can be easily cleaned and moved around effortlessly by your or the custodian.
One of the best things that you can do to help maintain a clean and healthy classroom is to teach your students about health and hygiene. You teach them about everything else, so why not teach them about how not to spread germs? Proper hand washing is perhaps the most important habit students need to learn when it comes to health and hygiene. Germs are spread through our hands more than any other way. Regular handwashing will also reduce the chances of a widespread infection in your classroom.
It may be hard for some young children to understand the concept of germs because they cannot see them. To help them understand this concept, you can show them what bacteria looks like under a microscope. This may give them a better idea of what it looks like and how important it is to keep their hands clean.
Maintaining a clean and healthy classroom doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be done and should be done. Dealing with classroom germs is a team effort between you, your students, and the custodian. By asking students to follow good hygiene habits in your classroom, as well as keeping it clean, you can keep your room free of infectious diseases and germs.
How do you maintain a clean and healthy classroom? Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Please share your insight with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.