Mask breaks are where teachers take students outside so they can take their masks off after wearing them for many hours and get a breath of fresh air. There are some who are avid supporters of mask breaks, while others don’t believe they’re necessary.
Mask breaks should still be required, or at least be available as a choice to students who feel that they need them. Although students sometimes choose not to wear their masks correctly or have an approved mask exemption, there are others who do, and they put the effort in during class to wear the mask correctly, working to keep those around them safe.
The work these students put in to follow the mask mandate should be acknowledged, and students should be able to have the choice of a well deserved brief mask break during class.
Though the main purpose of a mask break appears to be giving students a chance to take in some fresh air, they can also be used as a five minute brain break and a chance to stretch. In some cases, students during the teenage stage of their life can have a hard time sitting still, especially after sitting for at least an hour and a half.
Because of these longer class periods, it is often “harder to keep [students] engaged and seated for so long”, as said in an article by Complete Literature.
I’m not arguing that we should have an unnecessary amount of mask breaks throughout our day or that half an hour should be dedicated to one mask break. Sometimes students just need a moment to stand, stretch, and take a deep breath.
This can do everything from better overall focus to “enhance energy” to “improve creativity”.
Students should be given more regular mask breaks during class. At the very least, we should have the choice to take part in one. Students can be negatively impacted when they are forced to sit in school too long.
Lakota School District teacher Jennifer Turner said, “I never realized how much students actually move around the classroom until this year. The need for mask breaks is a must, even if it is just as a brain break.”
She continued, “I think mask breaks are one positive change to [students’] year filled with so many rules and safety precautions.”
I know that for me personally, mask breaks make me feel more willing to learn. Just sitting outside for a little while can be calming and appealing.
Students should be allowed at least to have the option of a mask break after wearing a mask all school day long.