It’s time to step back into time when you were terrified of being sent to the principal and had to dance along to School House Rock. There is something about being a kid in the 90s that separates us from the rest, and our teachers play a large role in that. Here are 15 things every 90s kids will remember about their teachers.
1. The long floral dresses
You know you’re a 90s kid when it seemed like every female teacher you had dressed either like Elaine Benes or an Amish milkmaid. We can’t wrap our minds around why they ever thought this looked good. Our poor clueless teachers (they didn’t know any better).
2. Chalk boards
True 90s kids are the last generation to experience nerves-shattering chalkboards in classrooms. When white boards made their way into many classroom, we were excited to no longer deal with the chalky mess and teachers threatening to scratch the board to silence us. Although, the intoxicating chemical smell of white board markers was no picnic either.
There was always that one teacher who thought she was being hip and young by sporting scrunchies. Chances are, hers was more “matured,” meaning they were sparkly gold and black silky ones.
4. Decorative holiday borders
Every child felt special when the teacher would put effort into decorating a bulletin board with holiday borders and hand-made paper art. At Thanksgiving, it was turkeys outlined with our hands and Halloween was all about the pumpkins with our names on it. We were her little pumpkins.
5. Heads down, thumbs up
Your 90s teacher often had every student cover their face, stick their thumbs up and wait patiently for the teacher to come along and press the thumbs down. This meant it was your turn or you were doing good. However weird this game was, we just went along with it.
6. Mounted pencil sharpeners
Along with the chalkboards, every 90s kid should remember the metallic pencil sharpener installed on walls that you had to manually use to get your pencils into sharpy ends. Sometimes your pencils got so sharp that you could literally shank someone to death with these things. And you always had to ask your teacher for permission to get up and walk to the back of the classroom to sharpen (we all secretly loved it).
Your teacher often taught weekly sessions on how to be drug free by showing you video tapes of slap-happy kids prancing around about how happy they are to be drug free. Sometimes your teacher would invite a guest speaker (most likely a police officer) to talk solemnly about the catastrophic consequences of recreational drugs before he/she passed around D.A.R.E. shirts, pencils and see-through backpacks. Just say no!
8. Tacky holiday sweaters
Your teacher probably had a set of tacky sweaters for every approaching holiday. And if there wasn’t any holidays, she was wearing sweaters of rulers and apples. You have to give her credit for trying.
9. Origami notes
If a teacher caught you passing origami notes, you were in big trouble. This meant there was a chance your teacher would read it out loud to the classroom and punish you. But if it happened to be a scribbled juxtaposed picture of your teacher naked, congratulations, you’ve just kissed your summer goodbye.
10. High-waisted jeans
On a rare casual Friday or a field trip day, you found yourself astonished to see your teacher wearing jeans. They’re always high waisted with a belt, with a shirt tucked in and an unflattering protruding pouch. Oh, and the jeans are always accompanied with white sneakers.
11. Computer games
Before the boom of social media and Kim Kardashian’s glistening butt, there was a rare time when computer games were considered educational. Your teacher would occasionally take your class to a computer lab lined with bulky Apple computers to play Oregon Trail and Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego (although, no one really liked playing Reader Rabbit or Word Munchers unless you were the spelling bee champ).
12. School House Rock
When our 90s teacher was in a funk, she busted out the School House Rock VHS and we spent the rest of the class time with the lights turned off and watched how a bill became a law for the 26th time.
13. Portable T.V.
But before the teacher could force us to watch School House Rock, she/he had to call the school’s custodian to wheel in this baby (and boy, we couldn’t be happier). And there was always five to ten minutes of fumbling around the T.V. trying to get it to work while we 90s kid talked loudly among ourselves. Eventually the teacher figures out how to work the VCR and we would watch a harrowing life story of Martin Luther King Jr. or Pocahontas.
14. Sticker rewards
When you’re a 90s kids, getting good grades was important and it was not for the sake of a promising future but to earn stickers. Nothing lit us up more than receiving a B+ paper with a “You’re a superstar!” or holographic dinosaur. You were thrilled. End of story. Remember the devastation once we graduated to middle school and the stickers stopped coming? Such a tragedy.
15. You loved your teacher
There was a fair amount of teachers that we didn’t care for, there were some that were mediocre, but then there are some that truly made a difference. Every kid (90’s or not) had at least that one teacher that was extra patient, warm and genuinely cared. We thank those teachers that made a difference in our lives (despite us forgetting everything we’ve learned) and hereby pardon all the poor wardrobe choices. Thanks teach!