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Battling Germs and Staying Healthy
posted by: Larisa | June 08, 2012, 02:10 PM   

According to a recent survey comparing the overall health and well-being of eleven different professions, teachers were ranked the highest in terms of overall quality of life.  The distinguishing factor that helped to give teachers the happiness edge appears to be rooted in perspective – teachers regard their job as a “calling” and not just a gig that pays the bills.

Despite the inherent satisfaction that comes from the call to teach, teachers are in the trenches every day and are extremely vulnerable to catching some horribly mutated bacterial infection spawned in the deep, dark underworld of student fingernails.  Germs are everywhere, and one would think that teachers are the most vulnerable.

When you put your germ goggles on, you see opportunities for illness lurking in virtually every corner of your teaching life.  If you couple this with the more-than-thriving stress that plagues teachers, it’s a certainty that, at some point in the not-to-distance-future, you will be saddled with the flu–or worse.  What’s a teacher to do?

There are some teachers who take the “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” approach to the battle of Teacher vs. Germs.  These tough teachers jump headfirst into the pool of illness that is their classroom and believe that, no matter what they do, they will get sick.  Because getting sick is inevitable, it’s best to suffer through the illnesses and build up your immune system.

Other teachers, however, take a preventative approach.  Music teachers, for example, are famous for their “Lysol songs” where they wipe down the keys on their piano before and after each music class.  The teachers in the “prevention is better than a cure” camp have a three-year supply of hand-sanitizer on their desk and might be seen opening doors with paper towels or Kleenex.

It’s a tough battle, but when you’re called to a high-energy profession like teaching, you have no choice but to win.  While each teacher has his/her own way of battling germs, some suggestions are fairly consistent among teachers.  Managing stress is also an important way to stay healthy.  The more the stress is managed, the easier it is for your immune system to battle those school germs.

Additionally, the more you manage stress, the better a chance you have at staying positive.  Your calling as a teacher is about perspective.  If you have a negative perspective, you are inviting germs to you.  After all, “if anything can go wrong, it will.”

Along the same lines, it’s important to rest.  How much sleep are you getting at night, and what is the quality of that sleep?  Are you waking up at 3am with nightmares about how you should have taught that algebra lesson?  Are you building lesson plans in your sleep?  Try to turn your brain off.

Many teachers are guilty of drinking too much coffee and not enough water.  Boost your immune system by drinking orange juice, cranberry juice, and green tea from time-to-time.  In addition to staying hydrated, it’s equally important to stay nourished.  Remember to have snacks throughout the day.  You’d be surprised at how much better you do when you have a mid-morning granola bar to jump start the blood sugar.  It’s probably easier to be nice to the kids who give you the hardest time, too!

These little tricks in addition to your regular sanitization routine should fortify your immune system such that you have a better chance of staying healthy while answering your call to the teaching profession.  Happy teachers are also healthy teachers.

Teachers, what do you do to stay healthy?
Comment below.

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A New Approach to Managing the Spread of Germs & Viruses
written by John Delatorre - Houston, Texas, May 13, 2014

A germ/virus killing cup is coming to a school near you soon. A new invention called a COUGHy Cup kills 99.9% of cold and flu viruses in 15 minutes or less. The device looks like your typical coffee cup except the cup has no bottom, the lid has a large opening and there's a filter inside. 100% of the aerosol from coughing is filtered. Change the lid and it also works for sneezing.

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