Over the past year, I have learned a lot about face masks. I don’t even want to know how much money I’ve spent sampling different types of masks. The reality is different masks are better for different activities in the classroom and even around the school building itself. So why not share the face mask knowledge I’ve gained with all of you! So, without further ado here are my favorite masks for teaching as well as the pros and cons of each one.
These are all affiliate links so I may receive a small amount of money if you purchase any of these at no extra cost to you.
Best Face Mask for teachers to wear for Maximum Protection
This is my favorite mask for maximum protection. It allows students to hear me easily. The downside is that it gets hot quickly, is tight around the eyes, and is pricey for a disposable mask. I recommend using this mask during small group work at your Kidney table. It is also useful when partner classrooms have gone into quarantine. This year, I have one first-grader who truly cannot seem to keep his mask on. He also sprays when he talks. So, I keep this mask on whenever I work with small groups in my room. Now that we are entering cold and flu season I also wear eye safety goggles when I work with small groups.
One thing to remember with this mask is that it protects you so well, that your skin does not breathe well when wearing it. If I wear my N95 masks too long each day my skin will break out.
Best Face Mask for Teachers to Wear Everyday
My next favorite mask is perfect for everyday use. It is reusable and stylish. It is also great for my skin and avoids pimples. My face is petit and normal masks always sag on me (unless they are N95’s like the ones above). This mask is fully adjustable and has a pocket that I can insert N95 filters into to maximize protection. What I really love is that this mask comes in a variety of colors.
The only downside of this mask is that when the filter is in place it is difficult for the students to understand me. At work, I wear this mask during faculty meetings, or when I’m in the hallway. It’s also my favorite go-to mask while out shopping or running errands. One tip to keep these masks looking fresh and new is to wash them inside of a garment bag and let them air dry. If you really want to keep them looking like new you can iron them after they dry. Although I rarely have time to do that, and they still look great.
Best Face Mask To Show Your Mouth
Sometimes students need to see us forming our words. These masks are perfect for language teachers, including all teachers who work with second language learners. If you work with students who are deaf or hard of hearing these are a must as well. If I did not have the one student who could not keep his mask on, I would wear this one in my small group sessions. Currently, I stick to my maximum protection mask for small group work.
More Tips and Strategies
Let’s face it we are teaching in the new normal right now. Here are more tips on how to teach in the new normal.