“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will
heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and
– Jeremiah 33:6 NIV
Fall is a beautiful time of year. It is one of my favorites because of the turning of the leaves, fresh apple cider, football season, and cooler weather. Unfortunately, many people, especially teachers, become sick in the fall. It never fails that around November that I always get sick! No matter how long I have taught, whether I have had the flu shot or not, I still get sick! No one likes to make lesson plans for a sub when they are already ill, especially at three or four in the morning.
All educators should prepare to be sick once the cooler weather sets in. You should not feel stressed about taking sick or personal days. If you have not done so already, it is time to create a sub-plan packet with procedures written down ahead of time.
Planing Ahead for When You Are Sick
Have detailed lesson plans about routines and procedures for fire drills and tornado drills, and a list of students with medical needs already in place before you become sick. Have extra activities for a sub to do with your students in case they finish their work early. Check out this resource for preparing lesson plans for substitute teachers.
Make sure you have a detailed emergency lesson plan that has extra copies in case you are too sick or have to run out of town before making lesson plans. If you are able to make your sub plans ahead of time but can’t get to school, email your mentor or another grade level teacher and they can help you out by printing materials and getting things set up for you. Subs are hard to come by these days. A little chocolate or a beverage of their choice for helping you out will go a long way!
Make sure you are able to access the online substitute teacher system that your district has in place. Talking to the secretaries or other teachers, you should be able to get a list of preferred substitutes who work well in your building, and put these numbers in your phone in case of an emergency or when you need that mental health day!
Ways to Stay Healthy During the Fall Months
I will be the first to say that I seem to always get sick in the fall and spring. With little children running around my house I seem to get sick more often and for a longer period of time. When you are exposed to a whole school of students each day, many of whom are sick as well, the odds seem stacked against you in staying healthy. Here are some tips that seem to work for me and other teachers during the cold and flu seasons:
- Workout Early– We are all pretty tired at the end of the day and I know once I hit the couch I won’t be able to get back up!
- Increase your Vitamin D– In the summer we are usually outside a lot and the sunshine gives us our daily need of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption and boots immune system functions. Try and get outside at least 15 minutes a day for some fresh air and sun!
- Stay Hydrated– Once we get back into the classrooms or outside in the cooler air, we often do not drink enough water. This can make us dehydrated so try and drink a lot of water throughout the day. The Mayo Clinic cites that:
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
- Having trouble drinking that much water in a day? Check out these motivating water bottles to get you drinking more each day!
- Eating right- Ensure you are getting enough fruits and vegtables in your lunch each day. For more tips on healthy lunches, check out this article about lunches for busy teachers.
I hope to incorporate more of these healthy tips this year as the year moves along. I know I will be! The better you can take care of yourself, the more you will be to serve your students and your own family.
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