Wednesday, December 02, 2009


With the swine flu getting more and more around, last week the school decided to bring in a new dress code - masks for everyone. All of the teachers and students must wear masks all day. Here are a few of my kids:[Justin][Brian][Ellen][maybe Thomas??? (one of the twins - forget which one was wearing the yellow mask that day. They keep changing day to day)]
It's a nice idea but doesn't really work. None of the kids wear them properly (most of the teachers as well) and many have stopped wearing them altogether. ALL of the kids keep touching their faces anyway, trying to sneak a nose pick here and there, taking the mask OFF to sneeze or cough, etc. Then they touch the tables, the classroom pencils and erasers and everything else. Many have them down just covering their mouth but not their nose, or just hanging on their chin. [In the pics of the kids above, I fixed their masks before taking the pics.]
Today I was watching my students. Only one had the mask covering her nose. The others had theirs down or rolled in a ball on the table. One kid had a pencil hanging from his nostril, another had a pencil in her mouth. Ugh. Also, while the kids are wearing masks during the day, during snack time and lunch time, the masks are put away and the kids are all sitting together at little tables, talking and breathing over each others' food and poking at each others' food at times.
What's the point???
As of this week I have stopped wearing one at all because it is impossible to teach phonics with a mask hiding my mouth and muffling the sound. You can't teach the proper way to make the 'th' sound without them seeing what I am doing, and without me seeing what they are doing to make the sound (there is nothing equivalent to the 'th' sound in Korean so it is sometimes difficult for them). They're quite uncomfortable anyway and make my face itchy.
Another thing the school has brought in is hand sanitizer. They have the kids using the stuff between classes. Well, the kids are getting used to using the hand sanitizer and some are getting obsessed with it. Apparently some of the other foreign teachers have seen some of the kids using sanitizer after going to the bathroom instead of washing their hands.
I think most of them will be getting immunized sometime the beginning of this month. See if they get rid of the masks then.

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