Improve the grade-school teaching experience to attract and retain better teachers. The best part is—this idea requires NO additional funding! Taxpayers, rejoice.

Background:

Many teachers find that the most stressful part of their job is, surprisingly, dealing with the parents of their students.

Proposal:

There are a few ways to address this issue, but one possible way would be to make it impossible for parents and teachers to ever interact. Although this initially seems impossible (Figure 1), there are some creative possibilities.

Fig. 1: An example of a very-much-not-anonymous teacher. Such a teacher would be known by name and would be accountable to the parents.

In the past, some jobs that were dangerous (e.g. jury members serving on an organized crime case) or stigmatized (e.g. a medieval executioner) could perform their tasks anonymously (for the jury, by being hidden behind a screen at the trial, and for the executioner, by wearing a hood).

We can extend this same courtesy to teachers, who would be able to wear identity-hiding garments (Figure 2), and thus teach in complete anonymity.

Fig. 2: The hood-and-robe combo serves as both anonymization and fashion. Everybody wins!

This is essentially a sort of “witness protection program” for educators.

Conclusion:

Face-covering masks would also reduce the frequency of teachers contracting diseases from especially-sneezy students, which would then reduce the number of sick days taken by faculty. Think of the monetary savings to the school system!

PROS: Should make teaching a more attractive profession, which will help to recruit and retain talented educators.

CONS: School budgets are often tight: schools might balk at having to pay for masks and robes.