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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Having the "Stinky" Talk

Well, it's that time of year again.......the temperatures are blazing into the 90s and my poor little oscillating fan is merely pushing around all that damp, stagnant, STINKY air.....ick! So it was time for THAT talk.  Chatting with a room full of 12 year-olds about their body odor can be a little dicey - but if done with some humor and a light touch, I think they actually appreciate the information.
I typically wait for one of the first stretches of really hot weather, and a day when the mood in the class is really upbeat and there isn't a lot of interpersonal tension.  I make a big deal out of a student closing the door, so that we can have a quick talk - "just between us", and say something like:

You may have noticed that it's getting to be that type of weather when it's a bit more difficult for us all to stay as.....ummm...."fresh" as we'd like.  You're more active now, and you're growing up, so I'm just passing along a friendly reminder that showering and deodorant routines should be stepped up as you grow up. 

Then I might make some connections to Science class, where they recently learned about the skin in their Human Body Systems Unit. We talk about using sunscreen, and we share a few sunburn stories. Finally, I pull out the deodorant samples and they talk about the various options for "dude" deodorant and "chick" deodorant. 
Since stinky feet are also a huge problem in my class, I pass along my Mom's anti-stinky-feet method - I demonstrate how to use spray deodorant on your feet after a shower (yes, I actually spray my own bare feet in class!) and how to spray a little in your shoes to keep that nasty Micrococcus Sedentarius bacteria at bay. (I frequently have high school kids come back to tell me how much they still appreciate that bit of advice!)

How do you handle a "stinky" class?

7 comments:

  1. Loving your blog! I'm your newest folllower! Follow me at Mrs. Crouse's {K-8} Blog

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Mallory! Your blog is super cute. :-) Good luck with those interviews - you'll do great!

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  2. I dress up as a scientist named "Dr. Funk." He first explains scientifically how odor is produced and what happens when the odor travels from armpit to an innocent bystander's nose ("funk"). He then talks about how this funk can cling to said innocent bystander, and that innocent bystander (in this case, your teacher) goes to the grocery store afterschool and people are wondering, "Who is this lady with the bad B.O?" But it's sixth grade funk stuck to her!!! Dr. Funk then tells the students to "Buy and Apply" and makes them take a pledge (they all stand up and put their right hand in the air): "I promise to buy and apply once a day; twice a day on gym days." If it's a class with an extra good sense of humor, Dr. Funk may even whip out the graph that shows as a person's funk increases, their number of friends decreases.

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    1. I LOVE THAT, Lori!! I might add that "Buy and Apply" next time it comes up.

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  3. Funny, I had to have this talk with some of my second graders! Love the spray deodorant on the feet idea. I'm sharing this with my teen daughters.

    2B Honey Bunch
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    1. Wow, Erika - I would not have imagined that second graders could even get funky! I love the spray deodorant trick - so grateful my Mom shared that with me growing up!

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  4. I def. will be having this talk as soon as the the school year begins, as my room has no windows or ventilation. gag!

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