One of the things no one mentions about teaching jobs is the exposure you get to germs, bugs and illness. Unfortunately younger children are notoriously bad at washing hands and wiping noses, leaving you as a teacher exposed to all sorts of germs. It’s particularly risky in winter for teachers in the UK, as colds go round the classroom like wildfire, and we’re still not out of the woods from Covid-19. So how do you protect you and your students from winter bugs?
Wash your hands
How to wash your hands might sound like something you shouldn’t need to teach pupils and students but it’s a lesson that it’s not worth skipping. Encourage them to use soap and warm water, get their fingers moving all over each other, and wash for at least 20 seconds. Dry them properly too – no point wiping them down grubby trousers. Given that so many bugs are spread by unwashed hands, it’s an essential part of healthy schools.
To protect yourself from winter bugs you need a good immune system. A fruit and vegetable heavy diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential. Think oranges and spinach for vitamin C, kale for vitamin K, add in milk for vitamin D and eat protein such as lean chicken and pulses for iron. Now is not the time to go on a diet. A third of your daily food intake should be carbohydrates as these will keep you warm and provide much needed energy to keep you fighting fit in your winter job.
It can be hard to keep active in winter when it’s cold and dark outside. But a daily walk or run is great for getting endorphins flowing and raising your heart rate for fitness. Try some regular yoga stretches for relaxation and muscle movement to energise you in the morning and ground you in the evening. Which leads us on to…
Sleep for wellbeing
It’s essential that you get good rest and relaxation to enable you to be at your best. A tired body can’t fight off illness as well. The amount of sleep a person needs varies, but a good rule of thumb is seven to eight hours sleep a night. Have a cool dark room, comfy mattress and some time off your phone and laptop before bed and you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep.