ACHOO! Tips for Surviving a Sick Day in the Classroom

February 7, 2019

ACHOO! Tips for Surviving a Sick Day in the Classroom

Does this sound familiar? The alarm goes off, you roll out of bed and it hits you smack in the face. You know that crud your kiddos have been passing around? CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve got it too! Your throat is scratchy, your body aches, and there is NO WAY they’ll find a sub for you in time! Teaching is one of those professions where calling out is often more work than just digging deep and stumbling your sick old self into the classroom.

Of course, if you have a high fever, strep throat or a diagnosed case of the flu, please be responsible and stay home so you don’t spread your illness to everyone in the building, plus all their loved ones at home. But if you are able to make it to your classroom and power through the day, here are a few of my remedies to make it a little easier to survive until you can go home and crawl back into bed: 

Hot Tea

Hot Tea

You may feel like an old granny sipping tea in your classroom, but trust me friend, there is some truth to all of this.  A few tea bags always stay in my desk drawer, along with a bottle of good locally sourced honey. The honey helps soothe a sore throat, ease a cough, and has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Adding some fresh lemon to your tea will give you a Vitamin C boost – and just like that you’re a cold-fighting Ninja, even during reading group!

Eat, Even If You Don't Want To

Hot Soup

Get your lunch box and step away from your desk! Like you, there are days I have to physically force myself to venture into “civilization” (the teachers' lounge) for lunch. I’ve got about 1.2 million things to do and could use that half hour. But it’s especially important to set aside time to nourish yourself in sickness season. Doing this ensures you are fueling your body with whole foods rather than just eating some Cheese Nips between classes. Rich, brothy soups are ideal (your mom was right about chicken soup fixing almost every ailment). Good soups can be made ahead and frozen or you can even pick up a canned version at the convenience store on the way to work.

Home Remedies and Homeroom Help


Over-the-counter cold medicines often make me feel more air-headed and lousy. So I tend to lean on Mother Nature to see me through. I take a daily dose of elderberry as a preventative and double up doses when I feel the crud coming on. Paired with good multivitamins and probiotics, I like to think I’m equipping my immune system’s army for 180 days in the germ factory war zone! Of course, make sure it's OK with your health care professional for you to add supplements to your diet. 

Mother Nature isn’t your only friend. Remember the colleagues next door. In the evolving teacher economy, I am sure someone owes you a bus coverage or a pick-your-kids-up-from-specials. Be honest with your team. They are, after all, your work family and they will be right there to love you on those days you don’t feel your best.

Go forth brave warrior. Fight the good fight this cold season and save those sub days for a sunny spring day when you could really use some “me” time!

When earning a graduate degree online, you don't have to drag yourself anywhere when you're feeling under the weather. Just one of the many advantages of attending American College of Education. Explore all our graduate-level degree programs.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.

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