Hold your breath! When people cough or sneeze, they let out a very fine mist of droplets, which are riddled with the virus responsible for the sniffles. One of the tricks is to not breathe in the mist. Hold your breath and walk a couple feet away before taking a deep breath. After nineteen years, I haven't missed a single day!
Science department chair
St. Vincent High School
I educate my students about hygiene and germ transmission. But I don't tell them about it -- I let them experience it. I put a little bit of ultraviolet glowing powder on the doorknob. After about fifteen minutes of normal classroom activity, I explain what I did, and I bring out a black light and have them hold their hands out. The glow of "germs" is everywhere: You can see it all over their desks, on their books, even on their faces. I've done this at the start of "germ season" for many years, and it gets my point across better than anything I could say to them. (I get my glowing powder, called Glo Germ, at www.teachersource.com.)
Staff development and curriculum
Higley Unified School District #60
Wash your hands, wash your hands, and wash your hands -- in that order.
Let's follow the example of the Japanese, who wear disposable face masks in public when they are contagious. I keep masks in my desk for students who can't stop coughing or sneezing. They can either wear the mask or go to the school nurse for clearance before returning to class. It has helped greatly. I also wash desktops with Lysol twice each week.
American Leadership Academy
Spanish Fork, Utah
Stress weakens the immune system, so take a moment to relax during the day. I taught my class to take a "moment of Zen," during which we pause to take deep breaths and refocus our energy. It helps!
Teacher, grades 3-5
McKinley Elementary School
Eat with the kids in the cafeteria. It will make your immune system stronger.
Department of Education
Central Washington University
Each week, my first-grade students get to write their spelling words on their desks using shaving cream as the chalkboard. Students get a little squirt of shaving cream, which they spread on their desk with their writing hand. They write their spelling words with their finger and then use a rag to clean the shaving cream off the desk. This is great for tactile learners but also cleans their desktops regularly to keep the spread of germs down.
Marie Hughes Elementary School
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Many classrooms are not equipped with a sink, so our school in winter-chilled Wisconsin provides economy-size hand-sanitizer pumps in every class. Disinfecting desktops has also reached the job chart in my classroom. Students spray and wipe the desktops every Friday.
Sixth-grade language arts teacher
St. Monica School
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Teach children to cough into their elbow.
Kirk Road Elementary School
Greece, New York
Never put your hands close to your nose or tear ducts unless you have just washed your hands with soap and hot (or at least very warm) water. The easiest access point for a virus is at these two locations. Also, use an alcohol-based hand purifier to wash your hands between bathroom visits -- frequently. If you still manage to contract a cold virus, take zinc at the very first sign of a cold. It has been clinically proven to decrease cold symptoms and duration by 50 percent.