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    1. As a teacher, what can I do to protect myself and my students should schools reopen in the fall?

      I'm a teacher in the US, and the question of whether schools reopen is very much still up in the air (and location dependent). However, I heard some internal talk from my district that looks like...

      I'm a teacher in the US, and the question of whether schools reopen is very much still up in the air (and location dependent). However, I heard some internal talk from my district that looks like they are, at present, leaning towards a partial reopening that will likely have me back in the building, in-person, with a room of students in the fall.

      Assuming this is the case, I want to prepare now. I'm operating on the following assumptions:

      1. Provisions from the school and district will (allegedly) meet a certain minimum, but there is an effective maximum beyond those measures that I can independently pursue.

      2. Until the virus's spread is contained, the likelihood of someone who is infected with COVID-19 being in my room is non-negligible.

      As such, I'm looking to maximize the safety of myself and others in my room as much as possible. I'm looking for guidance in the following areas:

      1. What are the best, legitimate masks I can get for myself? N95s are out of stock everywhere, or, if they're in stock, they're from sketchy sources that are almost certainly selling fakes.

      2. What are the best masks I can get for students? They are supposed to be bringing their own, and I assume our school will have something in place for kids without them, but if for whatever reason a child makes it to my class without a mask (or breaks theirs or something like that), I'd like to have extras on hand for them.

      3. Is there any other PPE I should look into? Gloves, facemasks, robes, etc. I don't mind wearing whatever will keep me and others safe, even if it looks ridiculous. On the other hand, I don't want to go overboard either.

      4. Where can I get bulk hand sanitizer and/or cleaning wipes? These also seem to be widely out of stock. Also, are there types/brands that are more effective than one another?

      5. Is there anything else I should stock up on now? I'm worried about a run on already low supplies once schools announce reopening plans.

      6. What best practices should I employ while in the classroom setting? I want to protect myself and the kids in my room as much as possible. Anything that I can control to reduce risk (e.g. procedures, ventilation, etc.) I want to implement.

      7. What level of risk am I potentially putting myself in? I need some straight talk here. Be as transparent as possible with me about the reality of what I'm potentially facing.

      8. Is there anything else I need to know or do in advance of the school year starting? I've got time to prepare. I want to make sure I do whatever I can now. Even if it turns out in hindsight that I overprepared, I'll be happier knowing I did everything I could rather than being in a position where I wish I had done more.

      Also I should note that I am willing to pay for quality. I don't want to put my life in the hands of the cheapest options out there. As much as I resent the idea that I would have to pay for any of this myself, I'm not about to gamble on this.

      30 votes