Tag Archives: ants

Chaos

27-germs

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!

Quiet – and Magical

The school I work at is very old and although everyone does their best to keep it “pest free” we still get our fair share of mice and ants. The mice don’t bother me, but they have to be reported for the exterminators. Obviously since it is a school, everything must be treated without poison or chemicals so glue traps are used for the mice. I hate these things and find them so inhumane and imagine the difficulty of trying to remove one from a Kindergartener’s shoe when they step on one! When I report a mouse sighting in the Pest Book, I usually write, “Cute, little mouse” which probably isn’t funny to most but it makes me smile. This year, the kids haven’t seen the mice but a few years ago, we had two friendly little mice who LOVED story time – no kidding! They’d come out whenever we had a read aloud, they’d come out and sit under the blue table. The kids named them Squeaky and Cheesy. Yes, I reported them, but they were smart little guys. Probably from all that reading!  They never got caught!

There is little we can do for the ants, (which are minuscule in size.) I won’t kill bugs so when we find them in the classroom, I put them out the window or into the trash…(I know they can crawl back out…) Several of the children are terrified of these tiny little ants so today, with the suggestion of a parent who found that “Magic Ant Spray” worked at her house, I created my own for the classroom.

  • Water
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Dawn Dish Detergent (for bubbles)

I put it into a colorful spray bottle and made up a magical story about how it would not kill the ants but would make them crawl back outside. As I sprayed it into the bathroom, the sunlight was pouring through the window. It could’t have been a more perfect scenario. It was like glitter raining through the air. The room was completely silents as they call sat there watching the Ant Spray fall to the floor.

I had to get a photo of it – which doesn’t do it justice, but since today’s word is QUIET I snapped the photo. If anything, it tells a great story~

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Another Day In Kindergarten

kindergarten teacher

Today started out as a pretty normal day at school.  My students were on task most of the day and we all adhered pretty well to our schedule – this doesn’t always happen in Kindergarten…so many distractions to side track us!!

Over the last few weeks, we have been learning about the five senses and today we had a really fun taste test with all sorts of foods. There are a few children in my class with food restrictions so after clearing all of the foods with the school nurse, the taste test began.  We tried one piece each of something sweet (marshmallows), salty (pretzels) , spicy (buffalo sauce flavored potato chips), minty (tic-tacs) and smoky (beef jerky – for everyone except one vegetarian.)  It was a great lesson and the day was off to a great start.  The children went off to Phys. Ed and I actually sat back and realized how quickly the morning had flown by yet we had stayed right on track.

I picked them up from PE and it was snack time.  During snack time, one of the little girls came up to me with her face and hands filled with vomit!  She said, “I feel better now, I don’t even need to go to the nurse!”  She never even told me she wasn’t feeling well!!  Somehow, she kept it off the tables, the floors and the chairs.  Only on herself.  Being right around the corner from the nurse,  I opened the door to get her to the nurse only to find a hallway filled with the remnants of another sick child who had not quite made it to the nurse’s office.   Ick, but not the first time I have had to deal with this and definitely not the last!

As the day progressed, despite our little “hiccup” earlier in the day things still were going pretty well until….another child didn’t make it to the bathroom and needed some new pants which were in his cubby.  This is still, an occasional happening in Kindergarten, so again, not a big deal.  Change of pants, plastic bag for the dirty clothes and back to work as usual.  Unfortunately, the unpleasant odor seemed to be lingering much longer than it should have so I began to investigate where it might be coming from.  As I walked around the room sniffing the air for evidence…I realized where it was coming from.  Yikes!  After the “accident” in the bathroom, there must have been some “remnants” left on the floor that got stepped on by another child and traipsed all over the classroom carpets.

If anyone had seen my classroom commotion after that – it would have been comedic! I had every child lifting their feet in the air so that I could check their shoes all while the custodian was in the room putting down a green sawdust like substance that would have to suffice until they could shampoo the carpets.  For the rest of the day, the kids were hopping over piles of sawdust and shouting out reminders to the ones who weren’t watching were they were going.

….and all of this happened BEFORE LUNCH!!  No one could top this story in the staff lounge today!!  It really could only get better after that….right?

We went back to our classroom after lunch and all was relatively calm until one little boy yelled out, “I see some ants on the floor!”  No big deal I thought, how bad could it be???  Well, apparently a piece of beef jerky from this morning’s taste test had missed the trash bin and HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of ants were devouring this tasty little treat.  There were way too many to just pick up and dispose of like I normally do, which is to pick up any bug we find in the room and “set it free” out the window.  I grabbed a can of disinfectant and sprayed them, (yes – feeling guilty)!  The kids were yelling, “Is that bug spray?  Are you killing them?”   To which I replied, “I am just putting some disinfectant on them to slow them down so that I can put them outside after school.”  That seemed to satisfy them.  We packed up our things, lined up and it was time for dismissal.  Phew.

After school a few teachers and I were talking about it and we laughed because it was really “just another day at school.”  We joked about comments that routinely come out of our mouths without skipping a beat.

  • Fingers our of your nose!
  • Put your shirt back on!
  • Do not sit on your friends!
  • That is not for eating!
  • Would you do that at home?

I am sure I could go on and on.  Just another exciting day in the life of a teacher…but I wouldn’t want to do anything else!