The lessons we learn in elementary school can stay with us the rest of our lives. They can be very beneficial to our everyday lives, without our even realizing the impact that they have had. In fact, they can make our lives easier, safer, and even healthier.
Take, for example, the second grade. In second grade, in my school, Mrs. Biles' students were constantly reminded to wash their hands. It was important to her that we washed our hands before we ate and also after a visit to the restroom.
She lovingly made sure that we did. She used to say, "wash your hands boys and girls." It seems like a simple task, but when you think about it, it is a vital task. Little did we know in the second grade that the world around us, our friends, and even our beloved family pets, all have germs.
As we go about our lives, we constantly come in contact with germs, accumulating them on our hands on a daily basis. Then, if we don't wash our hands often enough, we can infect ourselves with these germs, and even infect others unknowingly by touching something as simple as a door knob.
There are many diseases that we can catch from these germs, including the common cold, the flu, and several gastrointestinal disorders, such as infectious diarrhea. Food related diseases, such as from E. coli and salmonella, are also spread by poor hand hygiene.
Fortunately Mrs. Biles, our beloved teacher knew the importance of proper hand hygiene. Now, we can go about our everyday lives safe from most of the germs we have come in contact with, largely because she cared enough to help teach us to wash our hands (frequently). We may be healthier adults as a result.
Another memory from second grade involves the joy of reading. Do you remember returning to the classroom after lunch in expectation of the treat that awaited?
Our teacher would turn the lights out and have us put our heads down on our desks, as she read a few pages to us out of the book Charlotte's Web. This is one of those warm and fuzzy memories that one would love to think about from time to time.
Yet, reflecting on it, here is another valuable lesson from second grade. Since we live in a fast-paced, stressed-out, world, we can get caught up in the frenzy. We can even forget to rest our mind and body, if only briefly.
It is interesting that taking a little time for yourself is listed among the many things that experts say we could do to de-stress. It's also interesting that another suggestion is to read a good book. Other things that they say might help are eating properly, getting enough rest, and organizing the clutter around us.
Little did we know at that time that we were learning more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. We were also receiving precious lessons that would prepare us for life in the adult world. So, we're off to read a book. After we wash hands, of course!!
By Cindy Hunsinger
By Cindy Hunsinger