• In the US, 55% of district leaders said teachers will be obligated to wear masks when schools reopen to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  • But masks can cause discomfort and interfere with a person's speech, which is particularly problematic for teachers.
  • Angie Madden, a Georgia teacher, demonstrated how wearing a simple plastic bracket underneath a mask can help with both of those issues.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Across the US, 55% of district leaders said school employees will be required to wear face masks when schools reopen in person in autumn.

While masks have proven to be one of the most effective mitigation strategies during the coronavirus pandemic, they also present numerous challenges, especially for teachers. Face coverings can feel stifling and may move around or fall off during the day. It can also be difficult to speak clearly through a mask, which is essential for educators who need to constantly communicate with their students. 

Angie Madden, a teacher who lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, came up with an inexpensive fix, which sidesteps both of those issues. In a video posted to Facebook, Madden demonstrates how she first puts a plastic face bracket over her nose and chin. Once the bracket is in place, Madden then places her cloth covering over it.

The bracket essentially creates a barrier. It stabilizes the mask, and keeps it from directly touching the wearer's face. The accessory, which cost $12.99 for a set of five, stabilises the fabric and prevents it from interfering with a person's speech. 

"You can hear me clearly. I'm not breathing my mask in," Madden said in her video, which was shared more than 240,000 times. "It looks really weird, but it's amazing. It really makes a difference."

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