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Silver Lining: My Students Are Okay with Wearing Masks.

September 12, 2020

This past week was my first with students since the pandemic hit.

So much is in flux, including whether my district will continue with the hybrid model for middle and high school given that Louisiana governor, John Bel Edwards, announced Louisiana’s shift into Phase 3 (“with restrictions”) just as we are getting accustomed to the Phase 2 hybrid schedule.

Meanwhile, southern Louisiana is under yet another hurricane watch.

As of this writing, I do not know if I will be at school on Monday because of the approaching storm. Also, I do not know if next Monday, I will have a classroom full of students (with social distancing not possible) as opposed to the hybrid arrangement in which I am able to place student desks six feet apart. But here is what I do know:

The students at my school are overwhelmingly compliant with the mandate to wear masks.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am about their willingness to comply with the mask requirement, which the governor is keeping in place during Phase 3.

The governor’s order also includes adhering to social distancing guidelines, which is not possible if I must have 24 students in the room at one time and all 1,600 students on our school campus each day. Our state superintendent, Cade Brumley, assumes “more students” will “return to campus” as we “transition” to Phase 3, even as he says, “It’s more important than ever that our schools continue to implement the safety procedures they have in place.”

Social distancing with “more students” is a contradiction on its face. Brumley is leaving individual districts to decide how to make this transition happen.

Some of my colleagues are nervous. We are in limbo, but we see the writing on the overcrowded wall.

I am so glad my students readily accepted wearing their masks.

That makes for one less storm on my horizon.

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6 Comments
  1. Laura H.Chapman permalink

    Thanks for these updates and the details about your teaching arrangements. They are similar to the stop and go of plans a, b, and c reported to me from a former student. She is teaching grades 1-4, remotely for now. That amounts to a huge enrollment and multiple preps for different grades. Stay as safe as you can from the new hurricane, Your students’ compliance with mask-wearing is a blessing.

  2. ira shor permalink

    Hooray, so good of the students to comply and help make things work.

  3. Christine Langhoff permalink

    The reluctance of those above teachers in the usual hierarchy to give definitive guidelines is quite telling; they don’t want to be held responsible when something goes wrong. The state pushes responsibility to the districts, the districts to the schools, the principals to the classroom teacher.

    That your students are willing to wear masks is indicative of the trust they place in you and the relationship you’ve built with them more than anything else. It certainly isn’t a reflection of comprehensive, thoughtful guidance from those “in charge”.

  4. anonymous permalink

    Same district, but my students are a bit younger. I’m happy to report they were also conscientious about wearing masks but were a bit thrown by the social distancing, especially at lunch. I had to explain to them that they were NOT being punished, as the spreading out is similar to what they would expect during after school detentions or maybe for those who act up at lunch. Normally, you wouldn’t want to be one of those students who had to spread out away from your friends!

    “THEY had not done anything wrong, they weren’t in trouble, but we were just making sure any virus could not reach from person to person. It’s any possible virus that’s in time-out, not them.” That made them laugh and hopefully feel better going forward.

  5. Kafthryn Wolden permalink

    For the most part, younger people “get it”. It’s older generations that have decided to politicize mask wearing and seem to care little about the common good.

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  1. Mercedes Scheider: My Students Are Wearing Masks! | Diane Ravitch's blog

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