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Can Providing Hand Sanitizer In The Classroom Help Student Learning?


TIME Magazine just reported on a study in an article headlined Could hand-washing boost your workplace productivity?

In the study, some workers were given a hand sanitizer to use regularly. Time writes:

….the researchers suggest that the hand-sanitizer group may have been… more productive while in the office. The hand-washers certainly felt better. They reported fewer cases of the common cold, as well as less fever and coughing in general.

This makes sense to me. I always have a big bottle of hand sanitizer (and tissue paper) available for students, and encourage them to use it. I certainly haven’t done any kind of study to determine its effectiveness, but it would seem to me that it wouldn’t be that big of a reach to suggest any classroom study might reach similar conclusions.

And, apart from that, I think it also has an impact on students knowing that I’m concerned about them. Of course, it’s also in my own self-interest — the less they’re sick, the less likely I am to be, too.

Please leave a comment if you do something similar (or something different) to encourage student health, and if you have seen any impact…

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. I threaten from time to time to make a list of all the things we’ve been told over the years raise test scores or increase student learning (not necessarily the same thing) – during meetings, trainings, PD, etc. They range from making sure you vary the pitch and loudness of your voice constantly, to never use yellow, red, orange, and a few other colors I can’t remember, on the walls of your classroom. Also to touch students on the shoulder as often as possible and the list goes on. I’m serious hundreds of things. Some we’ve even had to keep track of and turn in how often we’ve done them. So which should I really do consistently!? I mean besides the washing hands thing? : )

    • Brian,

      That would be an interesting list! I’ve never head of the colors “strategy.” I figure if it has been shown to work effectively, if it makes me feel better about my teaching, if it helps build a closer connection to students, and if it doesn’t drive me crazy, then it’s worth a try….


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