30+ Teachers Tell Striking Differences Between The 1997, 2007, & 2017 Students

  • By Asad Tipu
  • August 29, 2017
  • 18 minutes read

Teachers have always been underappreciated and overworked.

They have a time schedule for their job, and they only get paid for that time, but to properly do that, they need preparation. That means that instead of just being at school for 8 hours, they’re actually working close to 12 every day, with the four hours being preparing for tomorrow’s lesson.

Four hours of work that they do not, in fact, get paid for. They oversee the growth of many decades of students, and they were asked what they thought of those they taught in ’97, ’07 and ’17. Scroll down and find out.


’97 – “Quit passing notes”
’07 – “Quit texting”
’17 – “Are you seriously watching Netflix right now?”

Source: hinklesauce


My dad taught middle school from 1968-2004, when he retired i asked him what changes he saw in students from the beginning of his teaching career to the end. he answered; “the kids never changed. a teenager is always a teenager. the parents however, changed dramatically. they used to respect teachers and side with us in disciplinary matters, but now they think their kids are perfect and we are wrong. glad i’m getting out before it gets worse.”



1997 – “You won’t always have a calculator with you everywhere you go in life!”
2017 – “Before beginning the test, every student must disable the multi-function calculator that goes with them everywhere in life.”



1997: Wasted my time on Super Mario Cart on SNES (HS student)
2007: Wasted my time on Facebook on my computer (Graduate student)
2017: Wasted my time on reddit on my phone. (College professor, aka professional student).



Im not even a teacher, just a high school senior, but i’d like to make a comment. Us kids often hear stories about how our parents were raised. Anecdotes such as, “when we were kids, we used to leave the house after school without telling our parents where we were going or when we would be back. We would bike with out friends to a creek and hang out until 1 A.M.” – (my dad)
I bring up this example because it is so drastically different nowadays. Kids back in the 70s – 90s had much more independence than they do now. If i want to go out, i have to tell my parents where I am going, who with, and when I’ll be back. Part of the reason for this is the perceived danger of modern times. Many adults believe their generation was much safer than ours is, despite research indicating exactly the opposite. (Probably because of the media’s coverage of everything bad that goes on.)
Anyway, my point is that kids today never had the independence they needed to succeed in life. They/we are constantly relying on another person to help us out. And if you think about it, nature vs nurture… nature hasn’t changed much, but the way we are raised has drastically shifted.



97 – sarcastic, grungy, smoking more cigarettes, more clique-y and edgy
07 – petty, attention starved, overwhelmed, but much nicer
17 – under so many layers of irony and memes they don’t even know who they are anymore or care. there’s no point in being creative or devolving a personality, anything you could think of has already been done.



I started teaching 7 ago, and in my first semester I was having lunch with an old veteran teacher of over 30 years. I’ll never forget what she told me about how education has changed in that time…
“Used to be if you failed a kid, they would go to the kid and say, ‘What the f*ck is wrong with you?’. Now when you fail a kid, they come to you and say, ‘What the f*ck is wrong with you?'”
Biggest difference is the kids used to be accountable, now we just always blame the teacher.



1997- Teacher: “Put your hands on the desk.”
2007- Teacher : “I’m going to call your parents.”
2017- Teacher :” Don’t call your parents please.”



No phones.
Small phones.
Big phones.



Senior Pranks in 1997 were outlandish and acceptable. Senior Pranks in 2007 were less common and more basic. In 2017 Senior Pranks are illegal.



As a college instructor, teaching all of them right now, taking those years as one year removed from HS graduation.
97: I’m taking school seriously to better myself and my career.
07: I should have not taken all those gap years, c’s get degrees.
17: Oh shit if I don’t get at least a Master’s I’m going to be made redundant by a robot.



Mom is a teacher for generally 3 to 5 year olds, I got this:
Kids are certainly more abstract thinkers than they used to be. This was a project they did about foods starting with ‘P’

97: Pineapple, Pickles.
’07: Pecan, Peanut, Potatoes, Pears.
’17: Purple lollipops, Pigs in a blanket, Pepperoni Pizza

They’re more likely to tell stories and negotiate. One kid roughly explained the concept of double jeopardy–You can’t get in trouble for the same thing twice–to a teacher he was having a conversation with. One kid said that he wasn’t hitting his classmate, but “the wind pushed him hand when he was running”.
If they have a question that you “can’t” (sometimes this means “won’t”) answer, they’ll ask you to use your phone or the computer to find the answer. It seems like they’re aware that information is very close at hand and no question doesn’t have an answer. They don’t take “Just because” or “No reason” at face value anymore.


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