It’s been a week since masks became optional at our school, and I want to record my impressions before things go back to normal – right? – and we forget all this.
First, it felt improper to walk into school without a mask. The best approximation I can think of would be walking in barefoot.
Second, I am mildly thunderstruck at how different some kids look. A few I didn’t recognize. It is really something, how much of a face the mask covers.
Third – and I say this as someone who thinks you should get vaccinated and wear masks when doctors tell you to – it is delightful not to have to wear a mask. Masks are an almighty pain in the ESL class. It’s hard to hear the kids, and the clear plastic screen on the mask I wore – so that they could see my mouth – was a biodome for my breath. If you think your breath isn’t bad, go wear one of those daily and then we’ll talk. At ten paces.
Lastly, I remember, back when masking was initially being discussed, thinking: Listen. I’ve been teaching for two decades. I am here to tell you that if you think you’re going to get middle schoolers to wear masks every day, then… (etc & etc). I was totally wrong. They did great.