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  • Allison Tankel

Behind the Mask

As we all anticipate the start of school we know that this year will not be like any other. The desks and tables are carefully spread out. The floors are clearly marked for social distancing. Hand sanitizer stations set at every turn. Less toys are on display for the children to choose at their liking. Even staff may have changed slightly. The biggest and most challenging change is mask wearing. Every article, tweet, instagram post says masks stop the spread. So I ( like many) instead of spending endless dollars this summer on new sandals or shorts, spent my money on masks. The new, yet unfortunate fashion statement for 2020. Sports teams, greek life, cartoon characters, camo, plaid, striped, floral and plain. My family also sampled many different fabrics; neoprene, cotton, and disposable. This week's shipment included the mask with the clear insert so that the children can see my mouth when I speak. When I stop to think about all these masks, I am reminded of the most important thing that remains constant as we begin the school year. While it may not be seen, my smile, the smile of the parents, my staff and most of all the children will be present. While we may say that it is harder to understand when people speak with a mask on, the one thing that is always clear and concise; the laughter of children. Behind any mask I will see this school year, that is the one constant and bright note that will always be present during the day. I can't wait for our building to be filled with laughter.. even behind the mask.

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