As kindergarten teachers, we often say that no one would really believe what goes on inside our classrooms and it would make a great reality/comedy show. Yesterday’s episode would have been titled, “Chaos!”
Thirty minutes before the end of the day the chaos began, with a wet floor in the class bathroom after one child missed the toilet. This caused the next child to slip, but fortunately not land in it. I called for Mr. Leonel, our custodian who came with his big smile and took care of it for us.
Five minutes later, a child threw up right next to all of the coats somehow managing to not get a drop on them! Who ever thought that carpets were a good idea in a kindergarten classroom?? I got the child to the trash can and called for Mr. Leonel AGAIN. As he and Ms. Magnolia, (our other custodian) were pouring green sawdust – which I have now named, “The Magic Germ Killer” – all over the carpet, they had a fascinated crowd of Kindergarteners watching their every move. While they were mesmerized by the custodians, I got all of the coats and backpacks to the other side of the room. They were quietly watching the vomit magically disappear when one screamed, “ANTS!! Get the magic ant spray!” The focus was now off the vomit and on me. Ant spray to the rescue! We saved the ants from the vomit and instead of the aroma of vomit the air was filled with the scent of peppermint and eucalyptus. Crisis averted!
Yes, the throw up germ has reached my room. It happens almost every year right around this time. Right now, New Jersey is suffering from a Noro Virus outbreak and since it is spread in crowded, closed places through contaminated surfaces, it is no surprise that it has hit hard at our school.
Between that, strep throat and the flu, which all seem to be running through the school, there are a large number of students who are sick. One day this week, there were more than 25 students JUST in kindergarten who were absent! My class has been pretty healthy – until today, when five of them were out sick. Fortunately, we have the weekend to recover and air out the germs – I hope!!
Hand sanitizer, (or germ gel as we call it in Kindergarten) can’t kill the strain. Only hot water and soap seem to do the trick. Our custodians are working so hard trying to keep up with all of it! They deserve some sort of award – I don’t envy their job. As soon as the announcement calling for a custodian to the office is made – we know it has struck in another classroom. Yet I still see them with smiles on their faces! I don’t know how they do it! They deserve a huge THANK YOU!!
Daily announcements have been made on proper hand washing and the nurse has sent emails and letters home to remind everyone of “healthy precautions” and what warrants staying home from school, but trying to keep germs out of Kindergarten seems to be an impossible feat! Fortunately the oddly warm January weather has allowed us to open up some windows to let in some fresh air.
Hopefully this time it is short lived!