Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Little Kids Give Me The Heebie Geebies

I was trained to be an elementary school teacher.  I did my student teaching in kindergarten and spent hours right on the floor with kids, surrounded by their every germ.  .  I made sure to wash my hands but didn't worry about catching anything because I didn't eat until my hands were washed.  Like religiously.

It never fazed me

Not even on my first day of solo teaching when a little girl threw up all over her coat in the coat room.  I just handed her to a parent volunteer and kept going :)  Ah, the bonus of parent volunteers in the kindergarten classroom.

Somehow, I don't remember a single outbreak of lice during any of my student teaching or school visits during my 4 years of college.

After almost 2 decades in the middle school, I'd forgotten what 4th and 5th graders are like.  By middle school, most kids are good about covering when they cough or sneeze and thankfully, in my 17 years, not one kid threw up in my classroom.  I  had one boy faint and that was all of the excitement I ever had to deal with.

We had a lice issue every year, but it always seemed to be just an occasional kid that had it and never something to worry about.  No one ever rubbed their bug riddled head on me and I never had the occasion to touch a student's hairbrush.

Life was grand.

Already, about 20 days into the new school year, we've had several cases of head lice already.  4 kids in one class!!  And since I see every one of them, I am appalled.  Horrified.  Practically mainlining Rid or whatever the lice killer du jour might be.  (I'm sure the little buggers are totally resistant to whatever it was that killed them when we were younger.)

I am about to douse my head in kerosene each morning and wear tight braids 24/7.

Apparently we are not alone, because Kerry talks about it over here today.

I just don't remember lice being much of an issue when we were little.  I vaguely remember there being talk about it and I think I remember my mother freaking out that one of us MIGHT have lice but I don't know that I remember any of us having it or being treated for it.

To add to my constant vigilance about germs and now lice, I must also figure out how to keep kids away from me.  They hug.  They want to be CLOSE to me an each other.

They are slimy little buggers.

Again, by middle school, kids know that personal space is necessary and hugging is highly discouraged.  But at the age of 10?  Nothing wrong with bursting out in the middle of class with "I LOVE FRENCH" and throwing your arms around my waist.

I have to pause here and remind you that I just said WAIST.  That's right.  These kids are small enough that I am actually taller than they are and some kids ACTUALLY only come up to my waist!

They also don't cover when they cough or sneeze.  Or they start to cover but forget to close the bottom of their hands.

I can't wait for the throwing up season.  How many personal days can I take?

I'm not a custodian, but ours don't clean the tables in classrooms, so I've taken to spraying them with vinegar every day.   Let me clarify.  I spray the tables, not the custodians.

We have these rules about what cleaners we can have in the classroom and we have to fill out some form if we bring any, so I'm trying the old vinegar as a disinfectant route.

I don't know if it is working or will work at all but it's making my head feel a little better.  Plus, it's really gross to see a table when the light hits just right and there are a million greasy fingerprints all over it.  And there's the added bonus that today's marker mess will get cleaned up when I wipe it down with vinegar.

If I could just spray their heads with it....

I'm off to create some sort of bird cage-like device to wear so that everyone keeps the eff away from me.

Linking here:


  1. ha! that's legit. omg. lice. i would die. the only compelling argument i've heard for homeschooling.

  2. Wow. In my elementary school we had lice ALL the damn time. I had super long hair as did my 2 sisters so we were magnets. I've also had lice 3 times as an adult because of my clients. My head is itching just thinking about it. I've also gotten pink eye and a skin infection from my kids. This only supports my theory that children are gross.


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