2011年1月22日土曜日

a dangerous job

I teach kids' English classes at three locations. I would guesstimate that I teach kids form at least ten different kinders/ pre-schools/ schools. Actually probably closer to fifteen. At this time of year I feel like I am at the frontline of a germ war.

The local primary school has two classes closed with influenza at the moment and it's just started to do the rounds.

Both the local kinders have mumps wreaking havoc to class numbers.

The school in the next town has a contagious stomach virus going around. So does one of the schools in Matsumoto.

Two kinders in Matsumoto that I teach children from have chicken pox outbreaks.

Someone was absent from class last week with a streptococcal infection.

The majority of my classes are teaching kids in the 1-8 year old range. Kids who want to high five me and pull at my hand to get my attention and wipe their noses on their sleeves and stick their fingers in their mouths and their noses and get excited when they speak and spray it rather than just say it.

I feel like I'm being attacked on all fronts. Ducking sneezes and coughs and spit and pathogens from all sides.

So far (touch wood!) with OCD like gargling and hand washing and liberal gifting of tissues to anyone who starts sniffing in my classes I am sickness free. But it's probably just a matter of time...

I really think people underestimate how dangerous being a kids' English teacher is. I know I did!

8 件のコメント:

Melanie さんのコメント...

truer words have never been spoken.

When I was working anytime a kid had the sniffles or picked their nose, coughed, etc, I said "STOP!!! Hands in the air!" then I preceded to give antibacterial hand wipes to wipe their hands with. After they left I preceded to wipe down all the surfaces they might have touched (backs of chairs, door knobs, table top).

Might have been over excessive but for the most part I managed to keep away from the germs and ended up with perhaps only 1 or 2 colds per winter season.

Vicky さんのコメント...

Isn't that just the truth!

Last year during the swine flu outbreak, I made the kids wash their hands before and after classes, as for all the same reasons you said, we were a vector for spreading it city-wide if one kid sneezed over five others from five different schools.

I am so happy to say that the habit has stuck with the older kids, who all automatically wash their hands as they come in.

gaijinwife さんのコメント...

ditto. I have hand gel stuff in the genkan and get any child with a cough to sit at the other end of the table with a box of tissues. I have a hug supply of masks too - but then I teach at home mostly. Hope you manage to stay flu free this season.

jojoebi さんのコメント...

too true! and don't you just love the mothers that insist their kids are sick enough to wear a face mask but then insist they take off the face mask for your lesson, so they can kindly cough and splutter germs all over you agghhh - glad I quit that game :o)

Xana さんのコメント...

It's so frightening, especially when pregnant and I can't take any mess for the constant colds. I have them washing hands constantly, but still they are coughing and sneezing all over. As if contending with what my own two bring home isn't enough!

Xana さんのコメント...

That was supposed to say meds, not mess!

Kim さんのコメント...

If you haven't yet, a big pump bottle of "shodoku" might help in your classes too. All Jun's friends in Kinder in Japan are sick - LOTS of the time. We see no one, so are pretty health. Which is best? Get the immunities or stay healthy till the body is a bit bigger?

thefukases さんのコメント...

So glad it's not just me! And I'm sorry but even if the little kid is wearing a mask they usually use them as chin warmers anyway... I love that Vicky's training paid off! And Xana with K in an airconditioned building (recycling all thoe germs) and M and A at two different schools and me in contact with half the city I feel attacked on all sides for sure! And no meds must make it all the more worrisome!

Kim- my two are quite strong helath wise (other than allergies) so I tend to be of the- get all those illnesses young and get over them camp but I teach a woman whose girl was born premature and is still a little weak and she really wories and will keep her home if something is going around the class. Not sure if there's one answer really....

I'm interested you all use alcohol spray with little kids. I was freaked out about the kid who licked it off her hands and got drunk and ended up in hospital that was on the news last year. Maybe I need a rethink...