Originally Posted by mamacat
Lots of echinacea. Every person I know who works with kids (teachers, teaching assistants, etc.) caught everything under the sun their first year.
Good luck to you--can't wait to hear how it goes!
I have some experience working with young children (not a lot) but from the experience I do have, this is my advice:
Yes, echinacea is good. Also, take a mult-vitamin everyday, get lots of sleep, drink lots of water, and carry around some hand sanitizer with you. You really need to keep your immune system strong when you are working with little kids.
Be aware that working with kids there are bound to be lots of mishaps, mistakes, and accidents but it's all a part of the experience (theirs and yours), so don't let these things get you down.
Oh and, if you can, give yourself 15-30 minutes to get away from the kids. I found a little break (even a walk around the block) helped refresh me.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN!! What I love about kids is how they can open up parts of yourself you forgot were there -- your imagination, your creativity, and your sense of wonder. They also can be extremely honest and extremely open with their affection for you. Let yourself enjoy these parts of your job and don't get bogged down in the little things like runny noses and bruised knees!
Good luck! You'll be great!