Back to School

Kids in Ireland are headed back to school at the moment after a lay off since March due to Covid.

Much of the talk is about how they are delighted to be going back. I can’t imagine such a feeling. The start of the school year always filled me with dread. It meant the end of being outdoors and free and having to wear a heavy uniform and face hours of homework.

I don’t think I would be any different now and wonder how I could be so out of step with school enthusiasts or is it some sort of fairy tale that kids, these days, love school.

Even in my time, there was the old saying that ‘school days are the happiest days of your life.’

They certainly weren’t for me unless people are talking about school holidays!

What’s your feel about ‘loving school?’



Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

21 thoughts on “Back to School”

  1. Hi Jean. Great post! I don’t know what the summer has been like for kids in Ireland, but kids in my city were desperate to return to school because they miss their friends. It was an unprecedented spring and summer here β€” without opportunity to run free outside with neighborhood kids, without swimming pools, arcades, amusement parks, movies, miniature golf, sleepovers, sports, etc. Returning to school this year seems to be less about losing the freedom of summer and more about having an opportunity to be locked up with a new set of people!! Thank you, jen πŸ™‚

    1. It’s been the same sort of scenario here in Ireland.
      Your point about being locked up with a new set of people is well made. I hope, for everyone’s sake, they don’t get bored with that.

  2. Most (not you, obviously1) kids look forward to the start of the school year as they get bored. This year, especially as they’ve been out since March. They have a need for a schedule – not that they know this is what they need but they know they need something. And, let’s face it, there are friends they only see at school. πŸ™‚

    1. Maybe I was just lucky to have such a fun and creative family. Boredom simply never came into it and still doesn’t.
      Yes, there were great friends at school but we had each other’s phone numbers from an early age.Landlines, of course.
      I couldn’t imagine you being bored, Dale. Were you?

  3. In thinking about my own school years, I recall a mixture–there were things I enjoyed about school and the back to school year of course. I suspect the issue for most is the social aspect, and possibly the idea of whether or not school is a refuge and thus, better than the freedom of not school. I do know I could roll my eyes whenever someone suggested that school years were the “best years of your life.” πŸ™‚

    1. I know school is a refuge for some but hopefully a minority.
      Interestingly, no one has mentioned learning yet. I did enjoy art classes and physical ed and English poetry.
      I feel a which are the happiest days post coming on. Please stop rolling your poor eyes!

      1. I loved reading class, English and geography. We did not have phys ed until junior high and high school–we had ‘recess.’ But I liked recess, too. We had a lovely hopscotch court on one corner of the playground and since I could hop on one leg and balance well, plus jump up, turn around, and land inside the squares without touching the line, I was a star. Now when it came to baseball…last picked. πŸ™‚

        1. It never ceases to amaze me how little physical ed there is in schools. I know some people don’t like it but I am pretty sure there has to be an activity for everyone. Yes, I loved hopscotch too, though I wasn’t great at it. You seemed to have mastered it really well.

  4. Hi Jan! Here, in the Berkshire, MA school started or will start online…i cannot relate with being in/at school, learning… Great topic!

    I miss everything from my childhood, school, people, places, just being in a classroom. High school was tough, college, the best of years of my life so far.

    1. Hi Dana, Irish kids are headed back to the classroom but it seems like a lot of college will be online. I suspect that will change people’s views of college days.

  5. 2020 the year that isn’t …Not the normal year…social distancing..masks.. All venues cancelled….stay home…home school…need a change …fresh air…miss friends…gatherings non existent…losing those dear to us because of the pandemic…answering questions as to our lifestyle practices…name and phone number if going to an eating establishment…so on and on…shortages at the market…it goes on and on…Upheaval in our lives…cancelled appts..reschedule only to be cancelled again and again..Hopefully we will maintain our sanity and get back to some sort of normal…Children need to go back to school only under certain restrictions and their behavioral patterns are changed…We all need some semblance of life before the pandemic..We are a social group…

    1. Life certainly has changed hugely. I guess, as a child, the one thing I’d have happily seen cancelled was having to go in to school. Now home schooling would have suited me wonderfully! I admit to being a bit of a freak!

  6. I think I have said Ad nauseam school days were the worst of my life, bullied and picked on by Nuns and my peers alike! I won’t go into it but I am with you l lived for the weekends, holidays and being off sick! ( Probably you didn’t wish to be off sick)
    That said I know children have had a hard year and I probably desparate to see their friends. I didn’t ever feel like that. I am delighted to say that my eldest grandson , 6years old is eager to get back to school next week, and the younger grandson ,3years old is eagar to start at Nursery. God bless them . πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

    1. Sounds like we’re kindred spirits on this, like so many things, Willow. That you were horribly bullied is terrible. I didn’t have too much of that. Just one or two teachers really.
      Hope your grandson continues to enjoy it.

      1. I’m with you on this Jean, but in a different way. I hated going back to school and couldn’t wait for holidays and weekends. I saw much more of my friends during the holidays and had much more freedom.
        I hated the routine, the boredom, the homework, the nuns and just about everything to do with school. I loved learning, but I’ve never thought that my most useful learning happened at school. I didn’t have the fun, creative family that you had, but I had friends and imagination, and books and fields .
        I’m quite bewildered at this panic to get everyone back into the classroom. I wonder is it more about the adults than the children

    1. Which aspect/s appealed most to you?
      I wish I could say the same. Elements were fine and, in hindsight, I think a huge amount came down to the teachers. They really set the tone, I feel.

  7. Hated almost every minute of it – both National and Boarding, but they did have upsides., mostly the making of lifelong friends. I love that my grandgirls love school, love their teachers and cannot wait to get back to be with them and their friends again. What I love most of all is that they are not hit with a big stick by a strong angry man if they miss a spelling or get a sum wrong, that they are not ridiculed in front of their peers, that they are never humiliated . They don’t like homework very much though and I think it should be banned, their day is long enough and after school should be devoted to running wild and free again.

  8. I wonder if today’s kids have a better school environment than we did? They seem to have issues too like social media bullying and immense pressure re points.
    Long may your grandchildren enjoy it.
    With you all the way re homework.

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