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Unmasking: Conversations in the Classrooms

Recently, Alison and I released an episode about the changing mask mandates in our area. Children and adults now have the option to wear or not wear masks. In episode 170, we discuss how children might react and how to help them navigate this change (knowing that it can change again).

Since we recorded the episode, I have had the chance to talk with teachers whose classes have been mask optional for about two weeks. In their programs, some teachers and children are wearing masks and others are not. Like the reflection of society that school should be, there is a true mix of what people are doing.

Teachers told me about conversations they have had with children who asked questions about why some people are or are not masked. They spoke with children about the power of personal choice, making decisions that make them feel comfortable, and how different ways of thinking about masks are acceptable.

Wouldn't it be something if one result of this experience is that today's children are more tolerant of differences in personal decisions than adults have been? Wouldn't it be amazing if this experience laid a foundation for a generation of children who grew up understanding that different decisions people make about their personal practices should be respected?

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