The Pick and Nag

Brace yourselves. Let me set the scene.

My current classroom is in a new "quad" trailer set up, about 200 fourth grade steps, or 8 minute fourth grader walk, to the nearest bathroom and hand washing station. 8 minutes. If they're efficient. And by efficient I mean they AREN'T tempted to peek under our trailer (which is currently uncovered, so you can see all of the support beams and cinderblocks holding us up). The peek will lead to another, and before you know it you have half a class of fourth graders peering under the trailer with their bodies slithering far too close to the "no no zone."

This means that we wash our hands, on average, 3 times a day. IF we're lucky. Otherwise you have a germ-a-phobe teacher chasing you around the room with hand sanitizer... which has been banned at our school because of a few unfortunate incidents involving a teacher's drink and (separate) incidents of students licking the hand sanitizer off of their hands, and thus, becoming ill and negating the purpose of the application of the hand sanitizer in the first place.

So, the other day I'm minding my business doing one heck of a bang-up job reading a book aloud to the class. I look up during my dramatic pause, and there it is. I count one-two-three-four fingers on a student. Where is the fifth finger, you ask? Three-quarters of the way up one nostril. I think I can see him going cross eyed. Too far, too far! And then, when I made eye contact with the student, he pulled the finger out (YES!) and then stuck it in his mouth (NOOOO!!!!) And then, while still holding my eye contact, he DID IT AGAIN!

No shame. The worst type of nose-picker-and-licker.

I was calculating, in my head, how many minutes, hours, days, this student would be missing from my classroom because he'd be in the bathroom. Sent there by his teacher to scrub his paws.

I made the obligatory "no no no" shake of the head and then the silent mouthing of "go wash your hands."

Ten minutes later he was back at his desk. And for just a moment, I thought he had kicked the public habit. Just for a moment.

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