Masks for back to school

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Mr.history, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    My district is changing things day by day but as of now masks are required. (which I'm happy about)
    However I don't currently have masks that I would want to wear all day comfort wise. What are you guys going to wear/have found that is comfortable for long term use. I bought some reusable masks from Hanes which are ok for going in stores but they are hot and move around a lot.

    Anyone found what they are going to use?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I'm going to have to wear the kind that have the clear window space around the mouth. My district is requiring certain positions to wear those (and they are purchasing them). If I had a choice, I would wear the disposable ones. I know it's not environmentally friendly, but they're significantly more comfortable than the cloth ones- much more light and breathable, and because the ear loops aren't elastic they don't irritate the ears either.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I was given some nice cloth masks as a gift. They were hand-made. They have worked well, and they are thicker than the disposable ones I had before.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I found a bunch of nice cloth masks on Etsy that are plain and/or in the colors I wear. Also, I can't wear the masks that go over the ears (cause irritation). I only buy the ones that have string ties.

    Teachers received a survey this week (from the district office) asking which type of PPE they'd be interested in. Whether or not they're going to receive what they're asking for is a mystery to site admin. We're still trying to figure out how 12,000 masks are going to be provided to all K-8 students. I almost wish they'd leave it up to each individual school to get PPE purchased so my boss and I could get a head start on buying things.

    Huge, deep sigh.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  6. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Our district is buying masks, not sure what kind. I have my own shipment of masks coming the middle of the month. These cases are going up, so I'm not so sure buildings will open next month.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    If buying your own, browse Etsy. Large selection of a variety of shapes, and thicknesses. I suggest either the soft elastic or the toggle adjusters. I suggest enough to have a fresh one each day without having to wash each night. Stitched masks do the best job, 3 layers is best, but if one of the layers is flannel, two will be sufficient. I would only buy one at a time, to try them out, and then when you get "the" mask, order at least three. My sister made me a couple after we found what was comfortable for me. She wears a different style that is more comfortable for her.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/775798...2d75641ac5707da475c86a2:775798922&pro=1&frs=1 Toggle adjustments around ears.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/774690...6-33&organic_search_click=1&frs=1&bes=1&col=1 Haven't tried - YET. Love this soft elastic around the ears.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/799215...-wire-and-filter?ref=search_recently_viewed-6 Great shape - room over the mouth, comes in at top and bottom, and has a nosewire.

    There are like 250 pages of masks on the site - look when you have some time and patience.
     
  9. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I will search around for something that I can live with.
    I saw this funny ad on youtube where it was like a bubble suit that covered my whole upper body. I may just go hazmat suit instead. :)
     
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  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    According to Etsy, I’m selling mine WAY too cheap. :eek:
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Same. I'm selling tie dye ones that I'm hand dyeing. I also have a few made by friend or purchased from local merchants.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    At this point, we don't know what is happening with school in September; at this point, I'll be more comfortable wearing a mask than not wearing one.

    I've purchased a few cloth ones from the friend of a friend who is making them. They fit well and are quite comfortable. The elastic does bother my ears a bit, partly because of the arms of my glasses. I'm going to try a hack suggested by a friend--using a small elastic to attach a button to the arm of the glasses and then hooking the elastic over that.
    I do have some disposable masks that I'll use when getting my hair coloured, as I don't want the dye to ruin my pretty masks.
     
  13. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    My neighbor makes masks, and has since this started, when nurses couldn't get them. The nurses said the elastic rubs their ears raw, so my friend started using loopers (you know, the cotton loops you use to make pot holders on a loom.) I know, because I provided them for her. I just happened to have a storage tub full of unopened bags of cotton loops. They are so comfortable. They stay in place and they don't rub.
     
  14. TeacherNY

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    I bought a few online but I'm really looking for some book themed patterns. The ones I saw were sold out every time I checked. I have 9 cloth masks right now so I'm good for a while. Our state has approved in person summer school so we wearing them right now.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Elastic-loop masks like the ones my sister kindly made and mailed slip right off my ears (weird, I know: very TG...) But I found stretch shoelaces with toggles at a market. Now I pass one shoelace through both of the elastic loops on the mask, attach the toggle, pull BOTH sides of the shoelace over the back of my head and position the mask loops over my ears, and then snug up the toggle to get a decent-ish fit that takes the pressure off the backs of my ears. It's worked for me - well, except for the unhappy couple of days after a tick had attached to me at the meeting point of my ear, my skull, and the temple of my glasses.
     
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  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    At this point, masks will be required for teachers. I assume the district will buy some for us. I currently have one cloth mask and a couple boxes of disposable masks. Both work fine, but the disposable masks are obviously easier because I don't have to bother washing them between uses.

    My concern is about whether or not the students will have to wear masks. I work in a building full of students ages 3-8, and, in my local area, most regulations say that masks are not required until age 9. It deeply concerns me that we'd have so many people in the building without masks on. I understand that it's difficult for little kids to understand the need for a mask and to leave it alone on their face, but it just seems like an unfair risk to the adults in the building.
     
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  17. Secondary Teach

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    Well, grades K-3 won't even wear masks because they're too young. Masks are recommended for Grades 4 - 12, only.
     
  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That's what I have a problem with. My building is Pre-K through 2. So, we could potentially have about 600 unmasked humans together in the building. Personally, I believe masks should be required for younger children, too, when they are together in large groups. It's different if a 5 year old is at the grocery store, mostly surrounded by adults. But when there are so many of them together in small spaces, they should be wearing masks too, unless there is a really good reason for an individual student to be excused from the policy.
     
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  19. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    I agree. I guess those recommendations were made because it's said that younger children need to actually see how words are pronounced so that they can better develop their speech. They also say the younger students are more likely to remove the masks. I don't know how you handle the younger students- it's obvious they should be wearing masks, but it also severely limits their learning and speech development. Maybe the younger students Grades 1 - 3 should stay online until it's safer for them to go back to school without masks.
     
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I was concerned about this too as many districts had released plans where they were required for teachers but only "recommended" for students. At this point, my district is taking a very hard stance on masks and insisting 100% will wear them, no exceptions, even students with significant disabilities. They are telling parents that if their child can't/won't wear a mask, their only choice is to do the online option. My sped director says students in self-contained sped rooms will need to learn to wear a mask as it is now an "essential life skill." They are not allowed to leave the self-contained room for any gen ed activities/time with peers until they can do it.

    I was a little relieved to hear that but I'm still kind of in a "I'll believe it when I see it" place. We have so many severe behaviors already and students will be miserable all day in masks. The district is going to really have to be zero tolerance with every single child if this will ever work, and that's going to be quite a challenge for them. I also imagine some of our students with IEPs will bring in advocates who say they shouldn't have to wear masks- including kids with mild disabilities who spend much of their day within the general population.
     
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  21. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    In our area, they are suggesting "clear window" masks for teachers in preK, K, 1st, and 2nd -- which makes total sense, because you can't teach a child to make vowel or consonant sounds if they can't see the teacher's lips. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    But I also notice that the manufacturers of these masks all say "they are not intended to be medical grade masks, and no guarantees are made or implied." Wow, doesn't that give you confidence??

    And of course, the number of these masks available now, with school opening here in less than 4 weeks? Zero.

    Okay, boys and girls, let's all make the "b" sound...
     
  22. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    I've made masks for my SO and our families. I agree with many of you that regular elastic is irritating, but I found two work-arounds. Originally, you couldn't get any appropriate width of elastic for love or money where I live, so I tried using yarn. If you use a chain or foundation chain crochet stitch, tension a bit on the loose side, it's perfect. It stretches just enough to get over ears without trouble and holds with appropriate tension. A cotton-poly blend or bamboo-viscose is best; acrylic can melt under high enough heat.

    Recently I found a sewing shop, a little hole-in-the-wall place, that has the proper elastic. It's the real stuff, the same as is used on the disposable medical masks. It was I think $6 for 10 yards. It's the flat elastic that chafes, or the tiny cord kind. The stuff I got is a round, woven, cotton-y material.
     
  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I didn’t even think of using those.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My DH found some manly material today, so he picked up enough for me to make him enough masks for two weeks without washing. I’m doing the same for myself.

    Students in grades 1 to 12 have to wear masks. Both our our schools say lack of a mask will be treated as a dress code issue.
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    My sister uses the toggles, and has made masks for the niece and nephew, aged 2 and 4. Their daycare won't take them without masks that they will keep on. If daycare can mandate masks, I don't know why regular schools should be any different. I do believe that parents should model good, compliant, mask use - the more often they see the adults in their lives acting like wearing a mask is a social responsibility we abide with to protect ourselves AND those we love, the more luck we will have in gaining acceptance. Students coming from households where at least one parent badmouths masks, claiming that it should be "their choice", the less compliant the children will be.
     
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  26. Missy

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    My state is recommending masks only for grades 3-12. Required for all staff. Not what we wanted to hear (the part about students).
     
  27. Ms. I

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    I really don't know which is the comfiest for 7+ hrs a day wear. I have mostly disposable ones, but I have a few fabric ones that I haven't tried yet. I haven't been in the classroom for a while myself.

    I'd imagine most of you will change your mask out halfway through the day, like right after lunch so you have a fresh one. I know I would. So that's 10 maks a week & then I'd of course always keep PLENTY of extras.

    I just ordered a couple of boxes for myself & 2 fam members yesterday: $15 + FREE shipping for a 50-pk at Office Depot. They're probably not the best quality, but good back-up ones or just ot have some extras:

    https://www.officedepot.com/a/produ...=officedepot_homepage28_header-option-b_4_1_0
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I found some masks on Etsy that are a perfect size and shape for my face. They’re very comfortable and I don’t have to adjust them around my glasses all the time. I bought three of those, but they were a little pricey so I didn’t get more. I may go back and buy more once I have more information about the beginning of the school year.

    I also bought a few five packs of masks from Old Navy. They’re exceptionally comfortable and they fit pretty well. I bought some for my hoosband and children as well.
     
  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    That's good to hear about the ones from Old Navy; I've had them in and out of my cart several times.
     
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  30. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Being in the vulnerable age group my husband and I needed masks, and while I could sew them, elastic was nowhere to be found. At first I made ties from strips cut from an old t-shirt, pulled so that they curled into a round cord, but my husband really wanted ear loops. I remembered reading about using cut-up pantyhose. I cut a slice out of a knee-high, cut that loop open, pulled slightly to make it curl, and tied it in a knot at the appropriate length after inserting it through the side of the mask to make the loop. Very soft and comfortable!
     
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  31. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    Everyone here age 2 and older will be required to wear masks all day at school (which I am happy about). I have probably 15-20 cloth masks right now. I like the ear loops. I have a couple a friend sewed for me. I have several different ones from Etsy. My absolute favorite and the comfiest IMO are ones I bought from a local clothing store. Not sure if they got them elsewhere or made them themselves.

    I plan to wear one in the morning and then switch to a different one after lunch. I will also have some disposable ones in my desk drawer in case I happen to forget a mask one day.
     
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    What are the odds 2 year olds will keep it on?
    I saw some kids at the grocery store with cute Disney masks. One was playing with it and one was chewing on it. Parents were oblivious.
     
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  33. Tired Teacher

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    I had to watch an online school board meeting last night for a friend of mine. Parents will have choices for their kids. Online or off. Teachers do not.
    Masks will not be required or even suggested. School starts in almost 3 weeks for teachers. I use N-95 if I go out in public. I think they are safest.
    The best line of the night was made by a HS student. He skyped in to read a letter in defense of older teachers. He read at the end, " Don't you find it strange that you ( the school board members) are holding this meeting via Skype for your health safety concerns, but in 4 weeks, you'll be expecting __________ ( he read a long list of older teachers) to be in a classroom with 20 some students?"
    It gave me some hope for kids today!
     
  34. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    The odds of winning the Texas lottery are greater!
     
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  35. MissCeliaB

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    The more I thought about it, I really wanted to do the most I can to keep myself safe going back to work, so I ordered some KN95 masks to wear basically as filters under my cloth masks. I may not wear them every class period, if I have any classes that are actually small enough to socially distance, and I won't need to wear it during my planning period, alone in my room. But it's one more thing I can do to help.
     

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