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Lice Happens

By Quynh Nguyen, Classroom Teacher

Recently, I took a little time to reflect on my year in the 1-2s. The topic of lice landed close to the top of list of favorite conversations. 

Elementary school and lice. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly. It seems so natural. One day, the kids in my class heard that someone had lice. “Who has lice?” “I don’t want it!” “Do you have  lice?” So many question marks and exclamation marks. A mix of curiosity and worry. This happened shortly before lunch time, so I decided to have a quick circle to talk about this. I told them about how lice might be spread and how someone would feel really sad if people were screaming about lice in the hallways. I also told them about the time 6 year old me got lice.

In first grade, my best friend Lisa and I shared everything. Including hats. That’s the story of how I got my first and only case of lice. I felt embarrassed and did not want to go back to school the next day. I was worried that everyone in my class was going to make fun of me. Luckily, my parents reassured me that everyone gets lice and no one will even ask about it. That helped tremendously. When I showed up to school the next day, no one knew or cared. 

The kids seem to like hearing about the time I was super itchy and had to be picked up by my dad. Overall, they really like to hear about my personal stories. After I finished telling my lice story, half of my class raised their hands to share their own stories. That surprised me. My plan was to just talk to them about how one could possibly get lice and to make sure they were being kind and understanding about this subject.  Many kids shared their stories and my class giggled through most of them. It was time to go to lunch and everyone wanted to finish the conversation. We were ten minutes late, but that was okay. They all concluded that it’s okay if you get lice and it’s no one else’s business.