5 Steps for a Clean and Healthy Classroom concept - Closeup of books on desk with chalkboard in background

5 Steps for a Clean and Healthy Classroom

Identifying Problem Areas in the Classroom

The custodial staff does a wonderful job of keeping our schools clean, but even the best can only do so much. Keeping a school free of germs is a constant struggle that requires everyone to pitch in. Teachers can help keep students healthy by identifying problem areas in the classroom and taking a few extra steps to clean and disinfect them.

The Pencil Sharpener

One item that’s guaranteed to get a number of touches from multiple hands throughout the day is the pencil sharpener. Furthermore, if you don’t have an in-classroom sink, it’s a safe bet that it will get dirty quickly. In fact, it might be the number one germiest spot in the classroom.

How to Handle It

Put personal hand-held pencil sharpeners on the list of supplies that each child should bring in and make sure students know to keep track of theirs and not lend it out. You may also want to think about removing that old wall-mounted crank sharpener and a keep a few hand-helds in your desk. You can lend them out one a time and wipe down with a cleaner and disinfectant after each use.

Bean Bag Chairs and Sofas

In a perfect world, these are great for story-time, along with rugs, stuffed animals, etc. However, soft items like these are also great for trapping and holding pathogens like dust, pollen, and pet dander from kids’ clothes, increasing the likelihood of infection for children with allergies and asthma.

How to Handle It

The best way to keep the pathogen levels in your classroom low is by reducing the objects that attract them. Especially, those objects that can’t be easily cleaned and disinfected, like soft fabric items. If you want a healthier classroom, your best move is to remove as many of these items as possible.

The Classroom Sink

One would think that the sink would be one of the cleanest places in the classroom. After all, there’s soap, there’s water, and there’s hand washing. How dirty could it be? Well, add children to the mix and the answer is “very.” Kids don’t always follow best practices when it comes to hand washing. As a result, germs collect around the tap handles, soap and paper towel dispensers, and the counter around the sink.

How to Handle It

Make sure kids learn proper hand washing protocol by holding a classroom demonstration: use soap and scrub for several seconds, rinse and dry thoroughly, use elbows or backs of the hands on dispensers when possible, etc. Follow it up by posting a chart above the sink detailing the same as a reminder. Additionally, make sure your classroom is stocked with an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant and wipe down the area several times each day.

Keep an Eye on Common Areas

Areas like desktops, counters, and tables always have children around them and door handles, door frames, books, and supply boxes see a lot of hands throughout the day. These items need to be cleaned and disinfected frequently, but with so many students touching them so often, harsh chemicals are out of the question.

How to Handle It

Regular cleaning and disinfecting with an environmentally safe, all-purpose product like Bioesque’s Botanical Disinfectant Solution will handle both dirt and germs and ensure safer surfaces for students.

Additional Tips for a Cleaner Classroom

Have the Right Supplies

Having a clean classroom starts with having the right supplies and ensuring you have enough for the entire year. In addition to having an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant on hand, keep a stock of disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers, and tissues and make sure the students know where they are.

Get Students on the Same Page

Like we mentioned above, make sure your students know the best practices when it comes to washing hands and encourage them to do it often: after the restroom, meals and snacks, classroom activities, and sharing items with others. Additionally, teach them the “vampire sneeze/cough:” always in the crook of an arm, never into bare hands.

Look Out for Sick Students

If one of your students is feeling unwell, sneezing and coughing, or showing other signs of illness, send them home if necessary. It will help them recover faster and will protect the rest of your students.

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