You’re not really a teacher until you’ve had pink eye #SOL16

One side benefit of being a staff developer is that I get sick a lot less than I did as a classroom teacher.  While I still get lots of student hugs, high fives from mysteriously wet hands, and tapped on my arm with fingers freshly plucked from noses, I guess most students haven’t reached the same “let me sneeze something slimy all over you” level of trust with me that I would have if I were with them every day.  So when a teacher I work with told me that she had 9 kids absent with “either the stomach flu, a nasty cough, or pinkeye,” I felt confident that I would navigate my way around and through these germs.

So then I woke up the next day with one pink eye.  “Those darn allergies,” I told myself as I flushed my eye with some water in the shower and went about my day.

The next day, it was about the same color, but now had a film on it.  “I really need to vacuum the floor in here…this dust is driving me crazy.”

Today, there was a gob of goo in the corner of my now red eye that only another teacher would understand.  And this made me think.  I have been down this road a few times and every time I go to the doctor and say, “I think I have pinkeye,” the first question they ask is if I’m a teacher, then immediately confirm their diagnosis as soon as I say yes.  “Yup, it’s pinkeye alright.”  I don’t think they even really examine my eyes.

This made me think of the different diseases and bugs and viruses that I have gotten from my students.  In what other profession do you get tiny, soft hugs?  A warm, sticky hand holding yours just because you are walking next to them? Tears on your shoulder (and probably a trail of boogers as well)?   They love us.  They snuggle with us. They trust us and feel safe with us.  That is a precious gift.  They just drop off a few extra germs along with all of that love.

I guess a little pink eye now and then is a fair tradeoff.



10 thoughts on “You’re not really a teacher until you’ve had pink eye #SOL16

  1. I guess one advantage to teaching middle school is a few less sticky hands and definitely less hugs! This means less diseases. Good luck with the pink eye!


  2. So, so, so funny and so, so true. I had never had strep throat until I started teaching. My second year, I had a little girl who was a carrier and I had it seven times!


  3. I’m browsing your older posts. I don’t remember this one from #SOLC16. I think my middle schoolers are pretty germy, but I guess I am going down in age, so that is to be expected. I have not had pink eye yet this year, but Erich keeps coming down with eye infections. Maybe I am a pink eye carrier?


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