Today I had a bit of a wake up call. I'm usually pretty good about wiping certain parts of my room down every week or few weeks but I have been a little bit more lax about it this year. In passing today I found out that one of my kids has a staph infection, which is a contagious bacterial infection. My brother had the misfortune of contracting one from the gym in college (not a fun thing to go through!).
Since I know what he went through, I quickly sprang to action wiping down every surface this child may have come into contact with, plus more. It was a good reminder of how vigilant I should be. I know the custodial staff comes in and cleans certain parts of my room everyday but there are other things that they aren't responsible for that I could be taking care of.
Some of the things I try to wipe down frequently are:
Baskets that store frequently used supplies like pencils.
Recorders (Normally I disinfect them in a bin but every once and a while, I run them through the dishwasher.)
In addition to this list, I think I'm going to start doing the following (at least quarterly):
Switch out pencils - I'm talking a brand new set
At the end of the year I always clean all of my instruments with a mild cleanser. I take the bars off, gently wipe them, let them dry and put them back on before storing my instruments away. I repeat this process with my mallets and some of the other small percussion instruments.
Something I want to try doing is open the lines of communication with my teachers. Occasionally someone will mention an illness or infection that one of their students has contracted but sometimes I won't find out until many more students have traveled through my room. I think it is important to know, especially about the more serious viruses, so I think this is something I'm going to work on with my classroom teachers.
Before using any cleaning products check your districts policy. I know that our district is very strict about aerosol sprays (Lysol spray, Glade products, etc.) because of the effect they can have on allergies and asthmatic students.