I have been visiting my family for the past few days in Tring, outside of London. My cousins are British teachers, and we've gotten to know each other quite well since I started teaching in London in 2004. One is an Assistant Deputy Head (aka Vice Principal) and the other is a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).
Both have a cold. It's the first half term break so of course they have a cold for the holidays. It's the classic scenario - teachers wear themselves down, pick up all the bugs from teaching children and just when they have time to catch up on much needed sleep & rest, they get sick.
I am facebook friends with my teachers, so when I log in to write posts for our Classroom Canada group, I see their status updates. Most are saying that they're just back from traveling (Italy, Greece, Wales, Ireland, Germany...) but quite a few are also complaining that they're sick.
So, I thought I'd share a little tip.
Here's what I do: I take berocca every day when teaching in London, and also when I visit. I know my immune system is a bit weak (from traveling for so long from Canada, having jet lag, taking the underground and going out much more than I do at "home"). So I take one tablet every day. I buy it from Boots or any chemist in London ("pharmacy" for Canadians).
The closest thing we have to berocca in Canada is "C plus", which is a powder that you add to water and gives you loads of vitamin C, b vitamins etc. Berocca is like this, but so much more!
It's well known to cure hangovers or at least make them more bearable, so when you're living in London you might hear people commenting that they'll "just take a berocca!"
It's basically just a good multivitamin, packed with magnesium, zinc, b complex (B12, B6...), and vitamin C.
I don't quite know why the stuff works, and it could just be physcho-sematic, but I do recommend that you take some when you first arrive, and when you feel yourself getting a bit run down.
The positive side to this is that the more teachers get sick, the more supply teaching days you will get! That's why September is always the slowest month for supply teachers, and why November is much anticipated to be a busy time. Teachers also take more courses in November and throughout the year, but sickness does play a big part in the increase in supply teaching days.
So take your multi's and get out there to enjoy teaching & traveling in Europe.
For more information about teaching in London, see our website and buy the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians.