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It’s 1993. You wake up, put your hair in a claw clip, fluff your bangs, and throw on an oversized sports jacket (don’t worry, it goes with your high-waisted pleated pants). You pour yourself a bowl of Waffle Crisp while catching the end of a Jenny Jones rerun on the tiny black-and-white TV in your kitchen. You hop in your Chevy Corsica and jam out to your Whitney Houston cassette.
You’re on your way to teach in the ’90s.
Whether or not you can actually remember being in the classroom in the 1990s, here’s how teaching was different in this golden (and hot pink and aqua) age:
1. You had to keep track of software and resources on CDs and floppy disks.
2. You decked out your classroom in Garfield posters.
3. Students had to wait until they got home to tell their parents the flagrant injustices you’d committed.
But they’d usually forget them by lunchtime.
4. Your entire professional life was either printing, writing upon, or cleaning transparencies.
“It’s on the ceiling” was the ’90s version of “You’re on mute.”
5. You found the Superman “S” drawn on every classroom surface at the end of the day.
6. TVs were wheeled in on carts and had to be requested in advance.
If your class heard those wheels squeaking down the hallway, they knew their day was about to get a whole lot better.
7. Classroom management came in the form of scratch ’n sniff stickers.
What did the robot one smell like?
8. You took up notes instead of phones. (If you could get them open.)
9. Progress reports actually functioned as progress reports.
And you didn’t have to document six phone calls home before putting a grade below 90 on them.
10. You shudder now thinking of what your students were looking up on “The World-Wide Web” without firewalls or filters of any kind.
11. You went around stunting in one of these get-ups.
Dibs on the one on the left.
12. You didn’t have to think about assigning un-Googleable homework questions.
Ask Jeeves wasn’t great at linear algebra.
13. School funding apparently depended on cereal box tops.
14. You were constantly confiscating Tamagotchis, Game Boy Advances, and Tech Decks.
15. You rushed to the cafeteria a little faster than you’d like to admit on rectangle-pizza day.
Craving a piece of that rectangular goodness? Here’s a copycat recipe!
16. You had to literally pry your students away from Kid Pix and Oregon Trail.
Sources: Wikipedia and Know Your Meme
Want to jump back in time? You can still play around on Kid Pix and try your luck on the Oregon Trail!
17. You knew there was going to be a mutiny when you brought this bad boy out.
Source: Brain Quest on Amazon
18. You’d crack open a refreshing beverage between classes.
Sources: Pinterest and Reddit r/Nostalgia
19. Dress-code violators rocked JNCO jeans and Bart Simpson T-shirts.
Sources: Throwbacks and Pacsun
Whether you feel more “Good Riddance” or “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” about your ’90s teaching days, I hope you enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane. (Feel free to listen to either song in your portable CD player.)
What do you remember about teaching or learning in the ’90s? Let us know in the comments!
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