With kids coming back to school amid the pandemic, we all know that classroom cleanliness needs to be top of mind. This not only falls on the shoulders of administration, but teachers are at the forefront of this health-related effort. Learn how to keep classrooms clean in this masked up world with a few tips below.
Taking Preventative Measures
As teachers, you want to be mindful of your own safety as well as your students. Taking preventative measures will be key to success for a clean classroom. What you’ll need for a clean, sanitized, and safe learning environment includes good cleaning products, routines that will be easy to implement and maintain, and possible technology to help with long-term disinfection and sanitizing.
Classroom Cleaning Products
Some classic classroom products perfect for daily up-keep include:
- hand sanitizer
- disinfecting wipes
- disposable masks
Having the right products, supplied by the school administration, is an important step in keeping your classroom clean. Following regular hand-washing, it can be important to supply your students with hand sanitizer throughout the day. Disinfection wipes are good for door knobs, light switches, desks, and other shared items in the classroom.
Disposable masks are always a good idea to offer students who may have forgotten their own or have lost or broken one throughout the day. Finally, gloves are useful if you feel more comfortable protecting your hands while disposing of classroom materials or just want more protection when cleaning the room.
Important Safety Routines
Implementing and maintaining various safety routines throughout the day can help increase the safety of the classroom. These routines may include:
- Regular hand washing
- Pre and post school day desk disinfecting
- Wiping down high-touch surfaces and shared items throughout the day
- Practicing regular social distancing
- Making sure students keep their masks on while mandates still require the practice
A classroom is a place of discovery, exploration, and learning. Keeping routines that ensure everyone’s continued safety can help to keep that legacy on track. A routine is most effective if it is enforced daily from the start.
Starting at the beginning of the school year, make sure your class washes their hands before and after class, following any time in the bathroom, and after lunch. Some teachers also ask students to use hand sanitizer following those events as well for extra protection.
It falls on the teacher’s shoulders to prep the classroom for the day. One of the most important aspects will be to disinfect desks with safe cleaning products before school and between classes.
It can become part of the routine for students to help in this effort by wiping down books, art supplies, faucets, bookshelves, or other high-touch surfaces they touch throughout the time in your classroom. It would be important to supply safe disinfectant wipes to your students as well as gloves when needed.
No matter what happens throughout the day, asking your students to continue practicing social distancing as they move around the classroom or go about other activities can help to reduce exposure as much as possible. This also goes along with the last point of making sure all students are following current mask mandates. It can also be important to ask your administration what actions to take if students fail to follow safety guidelines.
If everyone works together and creates easy to follow routines, then you can keep yourself and your students safe to the best of your ability.
Disinfection & Sanitation Technology
Manually cleaning your classroom is a good option for guaranteed results, but sometimes the responsibility of constant safety attention can seem overwhelming. If you feel that the classroom could use more continuous disinfection options, there are technologies now that can help sanitize the air or disinfect surfaces automatically. Some options include:
- air sanitizing machines
- UV surface disinfection devices
Machines can be found that sanitize the air continuously throughout the day. This way, any airborne particles, pathogens, or allergens can be removed from the air, filtered, and replaced without much thought from you.
Another option would be for the school to invest in more advanced UV disinfection systems that clean surfaces through the power of UV light. These machines can be more permanent with wall installation or mobile depending on the need.
Of course, more advanced cleaning technology will be up to the school and administration, but it’s important to be aware of the options that are available today.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you choose to run your classroom, it’s going to be important to consider the safety of you, your coworkers, and your students. If you use the right products and technology and pair them with easy, tried and tested routines, navigating recent health-related issues will become second nature. Choose today to make your life a little easier and just a bit safer.