Coronavirus: Teacher devises genius hack to ensure pupils wash their hands

Shauna Woods, a third grade teacher, has been praised online for the inventive idea

Matt Mathers
Friday 13 March 2020 15:37 GMT
Harvard professor calls US coronavirus response a 'catastrophic failure'.mp4

A teacher has come up with a genius hack to ensure that her pupils wash their hands in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Shauna Woods, 29, who teaches at Hallsville Schools in Hallsville, Missouri, uses a custom stamp with the enscription: “Mrs. Woods” to keep her name on the books in her classroom.

However, since the Covid-19 outbreak reached US, the third-grade teacher has been stamping the backs of each of her pupils’ hands.

The idea is that, if the children have washed their hands properly after using the bathroom after going to the bathroom, then the stamp should have begun to disappear.

The teacher also awards students who have managed to completely remove the stamp with a prize at the end of the day.

Ms Woods first posted the idea to Facebook on 3 March.

“We are doing our best in room 550 to keep the germs away. Students got stamps on their hands this morning,” she wrote at the time.

“If it’s gone by the end of the day from washing their hands, they get a prize. We are trying.”

And it looks as though the clever idea has won the Internet’s stamp of approval, having been shared over 50,000 likes.

One Facebook commenter wrote: “This is great. Kids are kids and they run, play, touch everything, put things in their mouths, wipe boogies without tissues and hardly ever wash their hands unless instructed to do so.

“This is a great way to remind them and encourage them to wash the germs away. Way to go!!!”

Ms Woods told Good Morning America: “It’s a fact of life that many kids are in close corners, interacting with one another all day.

“They share many things, including germs. I’ve had a Ms Woods stamp for years and have used it to stamp my classroom books.

“I decided to grab that on a Monday morning, told students to wash their hands in the classroom sink and then come see their teacher — this was their morning work as we call it.

“I put the stamp on their hands and they were sold when I told them prizes were involved.”

“Providing a visual reminder and incentive has boosted their hygiene regimen. I even joined in on the fun and put a stamp on my hand to be their positive role model.”

Public Health England's advice remains that the best way to avoid catching Covid-19 is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

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