If somebody narrows down the definition of ‘school’ to ‘the place where kids learn textbook knowledge,’ they couldn’t be more wrong. It’s true that school offers students a fair chance at education, but what’s more, it helps them socialize. In a broader sense, school is the first place kids meet other people. If you already haven’t, do watch “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and you just might understand how important a school can be to kids.
Why Do Kids Miss School?
There are certain things kids cannot share with parents. Would you, as a parent, get so excited that there is a new Batman movie coming out? Would you jump up and down in excitement when your dinosaur-loving child comes to you and shows their newest drawing of a Velociraptor with two little feathers on it? With your own busy life, your initial reaction would be little to no reaction at all. You might glance over it and tap on their little heads, murmuring, “good job!”. But, a boy or a girl with the same passions might lose their minds over that drawing! By no fault of their own, some of the parents wouldn’t even know where their children’s interests truly lie. This is exactly why kids miss school. When it comes to sharing some things, It is not the same without their best buddies.
Why Do Teachers Miss School?
Teaching as a passionTo most teachers, teaching is a passion. They love teaching. When a child asks them a question, and they get a chance to explain the answer, their faces are all lit up with delight. Children and teachers have an amazing bond. From nursery up to high school, this band continues without breaking. After all, teachers are the second set of parents that a child can have. Both kids and teachers miss their interactions with each other. Some kids are closer to their teachers than to their parents. Therefore, learning at home can be a challenging experience for both parties.
Escaping monotonyThe majority of teachers enjoy going to work. While many people consider jobs monotonous and are not satisfied in their professional environment, teachers might be using work to escape monotony because some find kids’ ideas and thinking patterns to be fascinating Children, with their natural curiosity, may question everything and leave their elders answerless. Teachers are familiar with this behavior and can mend and nurture the student’s curiosity into something meaningful.
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert EinsteinHere is where the correlation between job satisfaction and marital satisfaction comes into play. After Covid-19, you probably spend most of your time at home. Even for couples that have been married for 20 or 30 years, this is a new experience that sometimes can be overwhelming. Don’t you occasionally miss your colleagues at work? After all, the office is somewhere people used to spend much time. A sudden change of lifestyle can therefore be troubling to most people. The situation is the same with teachers. It might be another reason they miss going to school.
Struggle to be Tech-savvyTechnology can be challenging to some teachers. It might be a little awkward if you are 42 and don’t know how to mute your mic on Zoom or Google Meet. New technology can be overwhelming to some. Especially, when you are not familiar with them, it could take a while to get adjusted to clicking buttons, switching on cameras, and sharing screens. Prerequisites of teaching in the 21st century just got upgraded. If the trend continues, conventional methods of teaching could soon be outdated. You begin to feel like the education in this New-Normal is far too advanced with technology you don’t belong to anymore. Although it is not still a concern you start feeling like it’s a big ask. That could be a major reason for teachers’ ” I miss school” feeling.
Isn’t Virtual Learning Better?
Yes, virtual learning is full of possibilities. Teachers can explain things better with videos, music, and many other edutainment techniques. Suppose a kid in the Zoom class asks the teacher to explain how big the Solar system is? The teacher has to share the screen and search on a search engine. Thousands of videos, pictures, memes, GIFs flood onto the computer screen.
Undoubtedly, education-wise, online classes can easily replace traditional classrooms. It could be better for adolescents who work part-time because it is time-saving. But, it is the feeling of togetherness that is missing from the online experience. Children miss the chance to engage in casual conversation with their classmates. Virtual education, although it gives an amazing experience, leaves out a fair deal of childhood memories. Parents never expect their kids to grow up and remember nothing of their childhood but staring into laptops and smartphones, their faces bathed in ghoulish blue light.
Suppose a mother who warned her children not to watch too much T.V as it would ruin their eyes looks happily at her children staring into a computer screen for 8-9 hours a day, learning. Something is wrong here. Children can indeed learn in a fun way online. But, can someone compare it to the real experience? The joy of the kids being together inside one giant classroom/school is way better than them sharing a huge Zoom Screen. But, as of now, there are no paper rockets to fly around the classroom. There is no mischief left. Teachers don’t shush kids anymore but just press a mute button. There isn’t ‘too much school’. But yes, there is such a thing as ‘too much screen time ‘.
Why Do Parents Miss Kids Going to School?
Screen time and health concernsToday’s kids are on their phones almost all the time after coming home from school. So, if they have to use phones for learning, that would be too much. Too much screen time can be harmful to your kids’ mental and physical health. Here are a few side effects of spending too much time on digital devices that may negatively affect your health.
- Obesity – Spending too much time doing sedentary activities like playing video games or watching TV can cause obesity. Heart health is also damaged, which can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
- Sleep troubles – The light emitted by electronic gadgets disrupts the brain’s sleep cycle, making it difficult to achieve a good nap. Keep screens out of the bedroom and avoid them for at least an hour before getting into bed to have a good night’s rest.
- Chronic neck and back pain – Too much screen time can cause bad posture, which can result in prolonged neck, shoulder, and back pain. Instead of sitting, get up and walk around, stand, or stretch. Ensure that your chair has enough back support and that the gadget is at eye level.
- Depression and anxiety – The amount of time you spend in front of a screen can have a negative impact on your mental and emotional health. Experts believe that increased screen usage and sadness are linked, as are increased suicidal actions and a decreased capacity to read emotions in general.
Soft skills development while missing schoolAnother aspect of being concerned about is children’s soft skill development. School provides a planned time each day for your child, whether a little child or a teenager, to see their classmates, practice social skills, and build relationships. Face-to-face communication offers many invaluable skills to children which they cannot get from talking to friends on social media or texting. In the classroom, group assignments have a more structured schedule with more time to complete the job. This is much easier because you can only meet in person and communicate face to face with each other, rather than trying to complete the group task online, which could be difficult due to scheduling issues. When your student disagrees with a classmate, they must return to school the next day and face the person. This allows kids to practice the skills needed to repair relationships and get along with people who aren’t their favourites. When students disagree with a teacher, they must meet with him/ her again within a few days to work on strategies to repair the relationship. Many children and teenagers suffer from social anxiety, and attending school each day puts them in a situation that tests their social skills. They need to find their friends in a crowded cafeteria. The teacher may be asked to respond to a question in class or give a presentation in front of the class.
Children’s mental health while missing schoolLiving with parents 24/7 is a bit too much for the kids. You, as a parent, might disagree. “Why on earth don’t kids like to hang out with us? We are a delight!” You might think like this but for your kids, you are born to advise them on everything. In a way, it can be the bitter truth. They want to feel a little whimsical with like-minded peers. That’s how kids blow off some steam. Therefore, that’s not the parents’ department at all. A recent study revealed that lonely and socially isolated kids are highly prone to experience high rates of depression and anxiety long after the current lockdown is over. It further advised clinicians worldwide, to be prepared for a future spike in demand. According to the findings, lonely young individuals are up to three times more likely to develop depression in the future, and the effects of loneliness on mental health can linger for up to nine years.
- Lockdown limitations should be eased in a way that allows all children to play with their peers, both inside and outside of school, and even while social distancing measures are in place;
- Schools should be adequately resourced and given clear instructions on how to support children’s emotional welfare during the transition period as schools reopen, with the emphasis on play rather than academic development;
- The social and emotional benefits of play and engagement with peers, as well as advice on the objective risks to children, must be properly communicated.
Tips on How to Deal With Missing School
1. Watch movies based on schools and childhoodWe know you cannot compare your school to ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’, full of little Witches and wizards but try to use your imagination. Perhaps your science teacher, with a grumpy face and a grey-coloured moustache resembles Professor. Snape? Or even Sirius Black? In this free time, have a little “me time”. Remind yourself about how hectic life before Covid sometimes was. If you are a fan of watching films, make a hobby out of it. Watching films based on high schools and colleges can ease your eagerness to get back to school. This way you’d feel bitter-sweet about your school or college. In your free time, watch “Grown Ups”. It offers a nice view of how millennials are different from Generation Z. Give it a go and understand what your parents and teachers might be expected of you.
2. Read books related to schools and childhoodIt does not necessarily matter if you are a student, a teacher, or a parent missing school and how life before Covid-19 was; grab a book and read. Movies are not for everybody. Perhaps you are not a fan of watching movies. Not to worry. Try and dig up some novels from your bookshelf. Many of Enid Blyton’s series, including Noddy and The Famous Five, can be nostalgic for your school days and adventures with friends. Jeff Kinney’s series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, or Roald Dahl’s novels can bring back memories of childhood and school days for almost anybody. Therefore, whether you are a teacher or a student who is missing school, reading books can certainly help.
3. Maintain a ScheduleBy missing school, perhaps what you really miss is spending time according to a scheduled timetable. Therefore, instead of freaking out, which only adds to anxiety and depression, a person can tell themselves, “I am in charge of what I do now.” They can then go for a walk, talk to friends or loved ones, meditate, or change their sleeping, exercise, or eating schedule to accommodate more free time. As parents, you can always maintain a schedule at home. Keep children occupied so that they won’t miss school as much. Divide separate time slots in which they can have supper, study, and play. What’s more, is that It’s important to pay attention to what you eat and when you eat throughout COVID-19 to maintain a healthy diet. Especially, you as teachers or students spending a lot of time online in front of digital devices have a high risk of obesity if not exercising. If some foods, such as meat, are in low supply, gain protein by eating beans, almonds, eggs, and tofu regularly. Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and fruit should be substituted for high-sodium frozen meals, which should be consumed only once a week.
4. Spend time with familyInstead of thinking that you have been stuck with your family members, enjoy the quality time that you have with them. Be kind to yourself and your family members. Instead of being cooped up in your room, try to come out and be with your family. If you have siblings, try playing sports with them. Maybe it will be as fun as playing with buddies at school. If you have already set a schedule at home, divide a separate time slot for spending time with family members. Organize various competitions, sports, and sing-alongs too. This is good for the physical and mental health of both parents as well as children. Schedule a time to play sports. It will help release the emotional tension that the kids are dealing with. It can make them temporarily forget about missing going to school. Ultimately it will be a bonding experience.
5. Arrange virtual catch-upsMissing your school friends does not necessarily mean that you cannot see them until the school restarts. Especially since you are familiar with how social media operate, you already know how to contact them. Until a better time when you can catch up with your friends after school, use Facebook, Zoom chats, Google Meet, and apps like WhatsApp to hang out with them. Tell them how bad you miss them. They might be feeling bored at home too. Scheduling a certain time of the day to catch up with them; sharing everythingthat you came across can help you get closer to your normal lifestyle.
A Word of Farewell
1). What will you miss most about school?
2). What do you like about learning online?
3). Is missing high school normally?