Thursday, February 12, 2009


As you know, I am in one of the most germy professions possible:

Elementary School Teacher

I knew this, and have been so grateful that I haven't gotten seriously sick since teaching. But what I didn't realize, is what a germaphobe I am!

Two weeks ago, I had a student throw up in our little bathroom, and immediately I sent him to the clinic, locked up the bathroom with a "closed until disinfected" sign, ostracised his desk, and gave all 18 of my remaining kids clorox wipes to clean every possible surface he touched.

Then we had a lesson on hand washing. All 18 of them soaped up and scrubbed to the tune of "row, row, row your boat," until I was sufficiently pleased with their sanitized selves.

Then today happened.

One of my students came in saying "Guess what? I was up ALL night throwing up, and, I threw up blood!" He was pasty and sweaty and looked like he hadn't slept in weeks.

First thought that went through my head... "Who sends their kid to school when they are like that?! Why get us all as sick as he is?"

Second thought:
"Must ostracize him." Moved him to a table in the corner away from everyone.

Unfortunately, his little virus had other plans as he stood up, knocked over chairs and desks, and sprinted to the bathroom. To throw up. Gross.

Alright, I though, time for you to get out of my room!

So, I send him to the clinic thinking "of course his parents are going to come get him, or he will just stay up in the clinic!"

Boy was I wrong!

Five minutes later, he was back, telling me that the nurse called him mom, (who didn't answer,) checked his temperature, (98.6) and chalked it all up to "having sinus drainage."


So, then he was back in my room again. Two more throwing up incidents, and I had HAD it.

I've had a beef with the school nurse before, so instead of sending him back to the clinic, and receiving the sick child back again with a mean note from the nurse, I circumvented all of that! I buzzed up to the office, and let the secreteary know what was happening. She of course asked me if I actually SAW the throw up.

Noooooo. Who does that? Hmm. My kid just threw up. Let me go look at it?!


But I let her know that I had heard it.


And that was enough for her to call the clinic and let her know, in no uncertain mean, that sick kid was to stay there until parents were contacted.



Callie said...

Oh that's awful! I never thought of teaching as a partiularly germy profession, but you changed my mind! I may have you beat as far as exposure to germs - I'm a dental hygienist, so I'm inside people's mouths all day - but then again, at least I get to wear gloves and goggles and a mask. They might look at you a little weird if you did that!

Emily said...

Well now you know how I feel as a mom when other parents use school as their baby sitting service, instead of making proper arrangements to keep their sick child home! I've had all 4 of mine home at one time or another over the last 5 weeks and when I've gone into their classrooms to volunteer- all of their peers have the same horrendous cough! I've spent at least $500 in pediatric visits and medicine to get them well! I think any parent that knowingly sends a vomitting or feverish child to school should be reported to the Department of Childrens' Affairs! School is for education- not nursing or babysitting!
You are not a germ-a-phobe! You have a brain to protect yourself and others from illness. Too bad if anyone thinks that's phobic! If you don't have health insurance and you don't want to miss your job due to illness, it makes perfect sense!
Clara and Sophie both caught an awful stomach virus and I felt like my skin was going to crawl off of my body! I hit everything with bleach, water, and Lysol! Thank God, we managed to contain it to those two instead of having all 6 of us down with it!

katie said...

oh my goodness! How uncomfortable. That poor child needed to be in the nurses office! Way to go being creative getting him in there and for keeping the others germ-free!

Q, La, and Gooner said...

Ok, that is awesomely disgusting! SICK! Go you for taking initiative!