Flu Season Teacher Survival Tips

Flu Season February

Right now it’s February 2020, and everyone is currently stressing out and worrying about Wuhan coronavirus. (If you want more information about that virus, you can go to this blog post here.) There are a bunch of stores near cities in the USA that are selling out of face masks and people are buying hand sanitizer. But what we were really should be worried about is not the 2019-nCoV. It’s the flu!

Seasonal flu comes around every year, kills thousands of Americans a year, and there are a bunch of things we teachers can do to protect ourselves (and our students!) and prevent the flu from spreading.

Tips for preventing the flu

  1. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!! We science teachers are really blessed to be in laboratory classrooms that have sinks right in the classroom (usually… I know some of you are roughin’ it in a non-lab classroom, bless you.). All those history teachers and gym teachers and English teachers – they can be jealous. YOU have a SINK! The best thing you can do is wash your hands at the end of every class period. Post a sign where you can see it to remind you to wash your hands (I posted a free one in my resource library. If you aren’t already a subscriber, you can subscribe at the bottom of this blog post or here.)
  2. If you are not near a sink, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can help (it isn’t as good as washing your hands, but it is better than nothing!). Keep a good supply on hand if you do not teach in a classroom with a sink.
  3. Get a flu shot! Every year, the flu shot is available in the early fall and getting the flu shot can help you prevent yourself from getting it OR if you do get the flu, the infection may be easier for your body to fight.
  4. If you suspect a student is sick (he or she is coughing up a storm, looks lethargic, complains they have a fever, mentions they threw up today…), send that walking infectious carrier to the nurse ASAP. Students need to stay home if they are sick, period. The best way to prevent spreading the flu to others is for that student to stay home until that student is well. I know a lot of high school students come in even if they are sick because they have a test or a quiz or a lab and they don’t want to miss it. Everything can be made up. Everything can wait. Tell them to stay home if they are sick!
  5. I know you’re gonna say that you always come to work when you’re sick because it’s harder to write sub plans than it is to just soldier through teaching your classes. It’s true – writing sub plans is a whole lot of work and that’s why it’s awesome that nowadays teachers can go to TPT, buy an awesome sub plan for the day (like this sub plan case study all about H1N1 Influenza spreading on an airplane that I wrote!), email it to the substitute teacher or person who can give the sub the plan, and that teacher can get back to bed to rest and get better. Staying home helps you get better faster and it helps protect your students and colleagues from getting the flu along with you!

If you are sick and you’re reading this, please take care of yourself and get better! Make sure you hop over to the resource library to pick up that free wash your hands poster as a reminder for your students to also wash their hands often!

Have a great week everybody!

Wuhan Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV: Resources for Teachers