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Barb Szyszkiewicz

Every Thursday afternoon, I volunteer at my kids' school.  I help out in the library and computer classes for the kindergarten and first grade.  This means that I do all kinds of things:  shelving books, reading stories, helping children find their favorite book, stamping cards, showing students where certain letters are located on the computer keyboard, and tying shoes.  (I tie a lot of shoes every Thursday afternoon.)

But one recent Thursday, I also took on a new job:  Tissue Nazi.  tissue-box

That computer room was full of little kids who were coughing and sniffling and, even worse, picking their noses.  Not wanting to embarrass the offenders by singling them out (and not wanting to interrupt an ongoing lesson) I simply picked up the tissue box and walked over to the children's seats with them, holding the box in front of them.

Most of the time, I was met with a blank stare.  "I don't need a tissue," one child who had just had his finger in his nose informed me.

"Yes, you do," I whispered back, and stood there until he took one.  Taking note of which computer he was using, I asked the librarian not to assign any children to that station during the next class.  "Nose-picker," I told her.

After everyone left the computer room for the day, I sanitized every keyboard and mouse in the classroom.

I have never been so grateful for the homeroom teachers who request several containers of "cleaning wipes" each September.  And I was thrilled to hear that the principal has ordered hand-sanitizer dispensers for each classroom--not a moment too soon.


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