March 22, 2006
I work with new teachers in elementary schools, many of whom get sick the first year or two of teaching until they build up immunity. One of the tips I pass along to them is to never pick up a student's pencil. As teachers, we see children struggling with an assignment and we pick up their pencils to show them how to do a problem, spell a word, correct an answer, etc. Instead of using the child's pencil (which is covered with germs) I always tuck a pencil behind my ear and only use that pencil. My students often ask why I always have a pencil behind my ear! I tell them it's so I don't lose it.