This past year, I taught in a classroom that was never cleaned by a custodian.  It was an 'outside' classroom, meaning that our room opened right into an outdoor courtyard.  Everyday, 155 middle schoolers tracked dirt and mud into the room, dirtied the counters and spilled food on the tables.  Try as I might, keeping the room clean was not a reality.  I spent months at a time sick, with head colds and fatigue.  Students are the biggest carriers of germs, and without their help with keeping the room clean, it's a loosing battle.

Because of my unfortunate experience, I feel it's really important to impress cleanliness on students.  This is much easier in a self-contained classroom, especially if you have carpet and a helpful custodian.  Use the following resources to help you keep your room clean and your body healthy.


* Never put your trashcan next to your desk.  It will collect germs, mildew and mold.  Put kleenex and trashcans next to the sink, so students can blow their nose, throw the kleenex away and wash their hands.

Clorox has a great PDF packet of lessons for students on cleanliness.  Yes, it's a large advertisement, but their products are actually really great so I don't mind.

The Scrub Club- Cute web resource for helping students keep their hands washed and areas clean!

Hand Sanitizer Bathroom Passes- GREAT idea from Mrs. VanDyke.  Wrap these labels around bottles of hand sanitizer and ask students to put the bottle on their desk when they are visiting the restroom.  You can visually see who is out of the room, and they will be reminded to use the cleanser when they return! (I use the Suzy's Zoo passes, hence the clip art.  You can change it up if you'd like, of course).

Yellow Brick Road- Make bricks out of yellow construction paper, tape them to your floor (works best with tile) and ask students to take shoes off at the door, walk the road and put their shoes in cubbies.  They can then put on indoor shoes.  This will help cut down on dirt and mud if you have outside hallways.

Germ mist- This is a great idea from A-Z.  To show the effects of coughing without covering, grab a spray bottle and carry it while teaching.  Sprinkle coughs and sneezes throughout your lecture, spraying students with the water as you do.  Tell them this is what happens when they don't cover.  Now do the same thing, but spray the water into your hands as you cough and sneeze, and start touching the students desks, arms, etc.  They will be very wet and you can tell them that's what happens when they cough in their hands.  Ask students to cough and sneeze into their arms.