Between Friends: School can be a happy place or sad for today’s children

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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Bob Ann Breland

Different feelings surfaced recently when school started for the year. It is time for learning and putting away vacations until the holidays. Most parents were happy and some of the students, but not all.

As I saw the photos on Facebook, I was transported back to my early school days. I felt again the excitement after a long hot and often boring summer to once again be going back to school. Students were six-years-old to begin first grade.

School would begin after Labor Day in late September and it could still be pretty warm. Right now, it is very hot, but most classrooms have air- conditioning.

Air-conditioning was a future thing for me – even after I was married with a family. A breeze from an open window was about all there was to cool us at home or at school.

School meant playing hopscotch or jacks at recess or even dusting the erasers for the teacher…and the smell of crayons and paste. Paste smelled so good one could think of tasting it.

Crayons, paste, construction paper and a pair of small scissors were new every year. I was very proud of new sharp-pointed colors for my creative inspirations. No buying supplies; they were provided by the school.

Today’s children are much savvier. By the time they get to school – and I mean four-years-olds – most of them know how to operate and play games on a computer or I-Pad, not to mention operating a smart phone – even knowing how to take photos and “selfies”!

The only technology we had at home was a big radio with lots of tubes and two knobs: one to turn it on or off and adjust the sound and the other to dial the stations.

Getting new school clothes was the big deal of the year. Plaid dresses and saddle shoes and socks were for little girls. I usually had at least two new dresses before school started.

Today’s children wear uniforms. Parents constantly buy new uniforms as children have these annoying growth spurts.

There are so many good things I recall about elementary school because I was at my best in the classroom. High school might have been different, but I loved those early school days. I probably should have been a teacher.

Yes…all these years later, I remember it so well. School was my growing-up happy place. I hope today’s children love it as well!