Teachers back in the day had it so easy. Sure, they didn’t have automated grade books or the ability to scour the internet for lesson plan ideas. They didn’t have GPS to get them to professional development or away games, or SignUpGenius to easily track parent volunteers.
But they also didn’t have:
- Helicopter parents comparing stories on group texts.
- Putting teachers on blast on social media for minor mistakes.
- TikTok dares.
- Very strict expectations for safety.
- Very strict expectations for a lot of things, now that we think about it …
Anyway, regardless of whether teachers now or back then had it easier, these stories of things that teachers “in the old days” could get away with made us smile … and gasp. We hope they do the same for you!
What did your favorite teachers do when you were in school that they could never get away with today?
“Have a morning recess, a lunch recess, and an afternoon recess.”
“Let us watch the NY Mets in class during the World Series circa 1969!”
“She threw (not hard) dry-erase markers if you fell asleep in her class.”
“I was in 2nd grade in 1968.”
“Our PE teacher, by herself, walked 60 students half a mile down the road to the park to look for leprechauns on St Patrick’s Day. No sidewalks. No permission slips. No parents. No chaperones. We were gone for about an hour.”
“My French teacher once came in late, said, ‘Rough night, sorry I’m late,’ unpacked a grocery bag and an electric skillet, and proceeded to silently make us all crepes.”
“Our art teacher let each of the graduating classes paint one of the ceiling tiles in the art room.”
“I’m sure it violates all kinds of safety/fire rules these days!”
“My 4th grade teacher had us do something called Being.”
“We would meditate in pairs, sitting cross-legged with our knees touching, staring at our partner without talking for several minutes. I think meditation is a lot more accepted in schools now, but this particular kind would definitely get parents nowadays fired up!”
“Had us over to her house for ice cream sundaes if we filled our behavior charts with good behavior!”
“In 5th grade we spent a day at the cemetery just before Halloween. We did all our schoolwork there!”
“My 5th grade teacher brought her dog Taffy in once a week. It was incredible.”
“Let me play with liquid mercury!”
“Our junior high German teacher let us throw wet Haribo gummy bears onto the ceiling. It was a tradition in his class—there had to have been thousands up there.”
“Riding in the bed of a coach’s truck to get to practice.”
There you have it. Germs. Sugar. Danger. Violating fire code. Thanks for the memories, teachers of the past!
What kind of pedagogical mischief did your favorite teacher get up to? Let us know in the comments.
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One of my high school teachers sent me to move his car (they were doing construction and he had parked in the wrong lot). I would NEVER give my car keys to a student, no matter how trustworthy!
Five teachers form a band called Mr. Small and the Referrals for a high school rally. Shortest of the teachers is “Mr. Small”. Band plays Short People by Randy Newman. Listen/read those lyrics and tell me what would happen today.