Teachers get sick in September

A new (school) year! New students! New classroom! New ideas! 

New germs.

Back to school season is also itchy throat and runny nose season. It takes our body some time to adjust to new people and their living habits (& germs). September temperature can also vary from heat waves to frost warnings in the evening. Changing sleeping schedules doesn’t help either. I’m pretty sure I can tell when my colleagues have collected their first assignment. Or the first quiz. After spending a period watching a student sneeze, cough on that piece of paper, would it be rude if I put on surgical gloves and use a pair of tongs when I collect it? No need to write your name, Johnny. Just write ‘bio hazard’ on it.

In the department office, it’s not uncommon to hear “You better not come in tomorrow!” (while thinking: “You’re gonna get me sick! I don’t want to miss any days!“) Many teachers don’t call in sick even when they should because we feel a need to set an example for the students (especially in September). So what do we do instead? Teachers do whatever it takes to not miss any time, so we take vitamin supplements, wash our hands like a surgeon whenever we shake someone’s hands, weird natural herbal teas, $30 bottles of Cold FX… The list goes on.

Personally, I take little green pills with a sugar coating that I buy from an Asian pharmacy. There’s also Ninjiom, a black syrup that tastes like mint & honey and soothes the throat, but it’s so thick that it feels like it will forever seal your throat until you wash it down with a litre of water. I also try to keep a regular sleeping schedule. Avoid fried foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of fluids. Basically everything my mom told me (and I ignored) when I was a kid.

All in the name of not being absent. 

I look forward to the process again in February. Second semester, another 3 classes of new germs to get used to. 


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