How the Third Teacher can Teach Hygiene
Across Canada child care centres are re-opening, facing many decisions on how to keep both children and staff safe in a world reshaped by COVID-19. Ready access to sanitation options can make it easier for children to self-regulate and incorporate enhanced hygiene practices.
If the classroom is indeed the “third teacher” then how we shape our learning environments can significantly impact students’ behaviour to better cope with a pandemic reality too. (SEE Canadian child care thought leader, instructor and author Dr. Diane Kashin’s excellent recent blog posts).
In this first of a series of blog posts we’ll look at furnishings that help centres adapt to heightened sanitation and hygiene standards. In the near future, look for posts about defining the indoor space, outdoor learning and individualized learning materials.
Explore our entire Re-Opening Collection for instructional tools, furnishings and resources that may help with the challenges created by enhanced hygiene, distancing and sanitation standards.
Rules for numbers of children per room are being lowered and mixing of ages is being discouraged by many childcare regulatory bodies across Canada. We think portability will be essential in a lot of child care and early years learning environments as hygiene and sanitation stations will have to follow children.
Alcohol based sanitizing is one option. These portable stations, (shipping in July) are durable, have a small footprint and have an area for posting directions, or decorating. These are great options for entrances or pick up/drop off areas.
But for a host of reasons from aesthetics (no matter how you dress it, it is pretty hard to like that sanitizer smell) to health, cost and environmental considerations, many centres will want to encourage hand washing instead of or in conjunction with sanitizing.
As with adults, most children prefer a fresh soap smell, and the feel of lather between their fingers than the ooze and biting odour of sanitizer. From a self-regulation standpoint, that makes handwashing stations an attractive option. Kids being kids, they are more likely to find handwashing fun and therefore require less supervision to do it and less intervention to do it regularly.
But learning areas may not have ready access to soap and water.
These portable washing stations can move with students to different areas, they are designed to be durable, practical and movable, requiring no electrical connection. Coming in August, they are available now for pre-order at special pricing.
Supporting the self-regulated behaviours that are so crucial to success in limiting spread, these stations come at different heights, for independent comfortable access for younger ages. Designed with classrooms in mind, they come with an area to post instructions, too.
Although not recommended for permanent unsheltered storage outdoors, these stations could be wheeled outside too. With the increased emphasis on outdoor classrooms as an option for coping with the pandemic, we’ll delve into learning outdoors in more detail in future posts.
One thing is clear, that so much has changed in education. This is a new world we are navigating and front line staff, experts, managers, regulatory bodies, suppliers and of course, parents and teachers… we are all learning, adapting and sometimes stumbling as we try to assimilate new learnings and standards.
Please let us know what you think and what you’ve learned.
Canada is a big and varied place and what may work or be allowed in one jurisdiction may not be the case in another.
We at LKG always look to our customers as experts and our partners in all we do. We will do our best to share relevant thoughtful information shaped by best practices in early learning. The more you share with us, the better we’ll be and the more we can achieve, together.
- Bogdan Pospielovsky