A Tough Talk

For those of you who are in school districts that are still open, you probably have students who are uneasy and have lots of questions. (Most adults are uneasy and have lots of questions as well!) But your job is to be a logical and calming influence–so I decided to write my blog on ways to reassure your students without glossing over what is going on in our world. Here are my top tips:

  1. Give information–but not too much information. I recommend something like the following: “People are getting sick right now from something called a coronavirus. You might hear about it from your family and people around you. We don’t need to worry about it, but we do need to be very smart and make sure our hands are super clean.”
  2. Make hand washing fun. Have little ones sing songs while they wash, have them practice counting to 20, put silly photos around the sink in your classroom, etc. Afterward, have students give “air high fives,” or “elbow bumps,” for a job well done.
  3. Focus on everything that is being done to stay safe. For example, you might say, “Everyone is doing such a good job of washing their hands and throwing away tissues–you’re all being so smart!”
  4. If youngsters are worried, remind them that doctors and nurses are health helpers. They are at hospitals helping those who are ill and making sure they get the best care.

Other than hand washing, it’s good to remind youngsters to cough or sneeze into their elbow. Review with students the appropriate way to cover a cough or sneeze. Then lead them in singing the song below! 

(sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”)

When you cough or when you sneeze,
Cover your mouth, if you please.
That’s the healthy thing to do.
Stopping germs is up to you.
When you cough or when you sneeze,
Cover your mouth, if you please.


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