5 Truths from Face to Face Learning Wearing Masks

9:08 AM

 Well, I'm a week into face to face learning wearing masks.  5 days worth of wearing masks or face shields have yielded 5 Truths from Face to Face Learning Wearing Masks.  Let's take a look.

1.  Your Voice will be Raspy 

You will quickly discover that your voice has a raspy tone.  Every teacher I talk to now has this raspy tone.  Your throat is a little sore too because of this.  You breathe in a lot of hot air and this seems to be the side effect.  If you have a place to "hide" a drink (don't use a container that stays open or one with a straw) grab one as often as you can.  It helps to ease some of this for a brief time.  I've also taken to Life Saver Mints just to help the whole situation.

2.  Teach in a Face Shield if You Can

Yep-You can breathe better, project better, and the students can actually see your smile!  Smile because they are going to need it.  The first day was a little rough on everyone because none of us knew what to do.  It got better as the week went by.  Switching to the Face Shield happened about an hour into teaching.  They couldn't hear me and see my expression.  So, if you can, think about actually teaching in the face shield when you are Face to Face learning wearing masks.  

3.  Students Don't Talk

This truth from Face To Face learning wearing masks was, literally, painful at first.  I teach Second Grade, so it might not be true for everyone.  However, I heard it from teachers K-4th.  It seems our 5th graders aren't effected by masks and talking!  The kids literally just sit, with almost no reaction.  It was really hard at first, but they began to warm up.  They answered questions and began to talk when sharing with Shoulder Partners.  But, engagement with learning is LOW!  Between sitting in rows and columns and wearing a mask, they are distracted and lack attentive behaviors.  Definitely a low for my week.  

4.  Face Shields R Us

Students started the slow shift into face shields on the first day.  They were quick to begin to change out when they first entered the room.  Just like us, they need to build stamina.  One of the ways I tracked this all week was using a stamina page.  This allowed the students to validate their feelings and know that mask breaks were coming.  

My Principal decided that this was an important part of our day.  Parents were asking what donations we needed, so I asked for 5 yards of fleece to make Break Blankets.  These were super easy.  Cut a yard of fabric. (Fleece because it is a knit and will not unravel.) Cut that yard in half to make two pieces.  Where it folds, cut along the fold line.  That makes 4 Break Blankets per yard!  The students LOVE them!  

5.  Teach Mask Wearing Expectations 

Period.  You HAVE too.  Before you know it, noses are poking out.  Kids have gaiters pulled down (or falling down!)  They forget to put them back on when changing from the face shield to the mask.  It seems that last step is a real struggle!!  Go over these expectations while face to face teaching wearing masks is truly important and should be taught just like our classroom rules and procedures.  As the week went on, students truly understood the WHY of wearing a mask and the ways they are expected to wear them.  A good amount started wearing their face shield AND a mask. (Stronger stamina than I had!)  So, teaching these expectations went miles to build that strong foundation for this year that is so very different!  

As you can see, the first week of Face to Face Learning wearing masks was an interesting experience for both the teacher and the learners.  What DID go right is we did begin to bond as a class.  We are learning each other and we are laughing together.  I received the nicest email saying that one child's anxiety about all of this has almost disappeared because her teacher is so great!  That will be a keeper email for sure!  

So, what truths from Face to Face Learning wearing masks do you have?  I'd love to hear from you so drop a comment below!  If you want to grab my expectations, you can see the product here!  It really worked, not just for me, but for my team as well!  And, if you would love a fun science project about masks, grab it by signing up below!

Julie from The Best Days!  

Face Mask Science Experiment

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5 Truths about Face to Face Learning Wearing Masks

by Julie from The Best Days Classroom

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