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upworthy
Education

People are sharing things teachers did in the '80s and '90s that would 'never fly' now

Students and teachers had different relationships back then.

1980s schools, 1990s schools, teachers

Eaglebrook School, Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The typical kid’s experience in school is a lot different today than it was 30 to 40 years ago. It’s hard to say whether things are better or worse, but there’s been a sea change in how children are raised.

One negative development is that teachers tend to think parents are more likely to side with their kids over faculty in disputes than they were decades ago. On the positive side, corporal punishment is on the decrease, so students are much less likely to be physically punished for breaking the rules.

A Reddit user with the username u/theSandwichSister asked the ‘80s and ‘90s kids on the forum, “What’s something a school teacher did to you that would not fly today?” A lot of the responses were about the type of physical punishment and humiliation that used to happen in schools that would never happen these days.


There were also a lot of posts about teachers who smoked around their students. Can you imagine a kindergarten teacher lighting up in front of their students these days? They’d be fired in a flash.

Overall, the responses show that schools are a lot more concerned with the mental and emotional health of their students these days, which is a wonderful improvement. Schools also seem to be much more friendly environments to students who are people of color, LGBTQ or have disabilities.

Here are 17 of the best responses to the question, “What’s something a school teacher did to you that would not fly today?”

1.

"Not a teacher, but school one. If you read enough books during the year in elementary school you got to have a sleepover in the library. Like we brought sleeping bags and slept on the floor. In the morning they had griddles out and we made pancakes. I know, total nerds, but it was my favorite elementary school memory." — 7askingforafriend

2.

"My elementary school principal would pull loose teeth. You could go to his office, have him pull your loose tooth and he would give you a lollipop." — snowfuckerforreal

3.

"I told my biology teacher that I wasn't feeling too well, he said that I didn't look sick, and as punishment made me stand in the corner until I fainted." — AustrianReaper

4.

"In high school, we would sometimes play knee soccer which was in our wrestling room (wall to wall wrestling mats) and was really just handball but on our knees. The PE teacher (football coach) let us play rough since it was an all male class and we were on our knees and couldn't do too much damage. During the game, two of the students were grappling for the ball and as these things go, one of them accidentally knocked the other a little too aggressively. The kid that got hit (an known asshole of the school) got pissed and stood up and kicked the other kid.

The PE teacher (225lb jacked military hair cut) stormed over and shoved the kid who flew about 10 feet before crashing to the ground. The kid gets up ready to fight whoever shoved him and the teacher had closed the gap and started screaming at him. Then the teacher lectured the entire class about sportsmanship and honor. The teacher never got in any trouble." — hangingonwith2fingers

5.

"In 5th grade, I was called to the office at my public school. I was a goody two-shoes so I had no idea why I was called, so I started tearing up thinking something bad must've happened to my family. Eventually, I was ushered into a room as my two best friends left. The principal and 2 other staff members then sat me down and showed me a piece of paper. It was a silly poem I wrote one of my friends about a good witch who granted wishes by mixing together some mundane ingredients. Apparently, their mother found the poem and complained to the school. Their response was to interview my friends about MY RELIGION." — ktbunny

6.

"6th grade teacher Ms. Sullivan would take 3 kids every Friday to McDonald’s for lunch. She was cool as hell. Smoked during the drive and everything." — SigP365SAS


7.

"My 3rd grade teacher had the whole class camp in her backyard after the last day of school. She took us to see the original TMNT movie in the theater, then we stayed up late telling ghost stories. One of my absolute fondest memories." — Cambot1138

8.

"Yeah, there are a lot of negative things in this thread, which makes sense, but there are some 'cool teacher' things that we lost too. I got a ride home from school once from a male teacher in middle school (I'm female) when it was pouring rain and my mom wouldn't come get me, but I bet that's not allowed these days." — rabidstoat

9.

"English teacher in high school used to cuss kids out for being noisy in class and if that didn't work, he'd throw the blackboard eraser at us. I wasn't on the receiving end of the eraser. That chalk would leave marks on kid's backs for the rest of the day so everyone knew who pissed off Mr Charvet." — Roscoe_Cracks_Corn

 

10.

"7th-grade science class, the teacher walked around with a beaker full of mercury and told us to stick a finger in it to feel how dense it was. Then he gave us each our own penny-size drop of mercury to play with at our desks, so we could see how it moved. I’m sure we were poisoned that day. Nowadays if a thermometer breaks they clear the school." — weirdkid71

11.

"Not something done to me per se, but my 3rd grade teacher had a little office with a door inside our classroom, and she would smoke cigarettes in there while we were at lunch/recess." — HutSutRawlson

 

12.

"Cheese Day in the Midwest. It was in first grade. For an entire day, all you ate was cheese. Cheese puffs, curls, sticks, slices, balls, and Doritos. Drank orange Hi-C as well. For 10+ years, smelling that fake cheese made me gag. After her wedding, and the birth of her son, my sister says Cheese Day the best day of her life. Wasn’t Wisconsin either." — 2_Spicy_2_Impeach

13.

"They told us Pluto was a planet." — Representative-Fig96

14.

"Best math teacher ever made us say numerator/denominator in Schwarzenegger voices as we were learning fractions." — kittensington

15.

"High School, we were on campus, drove a van to the locker rooms because I was with The QB, Linebacker and a couple of linemen who needed to get crap from their lockers. We were drinking beer in the van, it was 1:30, the football coach sees us, stops the van, looks inside and sees the beer, and shook his head and told us to be careful and get off campus. I don’t think that would fly today." — kentro2002

16.

"A lot of people are posting bad stuff, so let me share a good one. In 9th grade, in 1984, I had a class analyzing lyrics in pop music. Students brought in records by Led Zep and John Cougar and we'd discuss what they meant. Seriously a life-changing class. It makes me sad that younger students in America are so caught up in the rat race that they never had experiences like that." — Adventuresphere

 

17.

"I had an awesome teacher who would send one of us to the shop (just a minute’s walk away) with enough money to get ice creams for everybody whenever it was hot and she didn’t feel like teaching." — wanderingsteph


This article originally appeared on 08.30.22

Education

Someone criticized a middle school teacher's behavior. Her comeback was an A+.

When a person commented, "your a teacher act like it," Amy Allen hilariously took the advice to heart.

A rude commenter got a lesson from Ms. Allen.

Being a teacher isn't easy. Teaching middle school students is especially not easy. Teaching middle school students who spent several of their formative years going through a global pandemic in the age of smartphones, social media and a youth mental health crisis is downright heroic.

If you haven't spent time in a middle school classroom, you may not fully grasp the intensity of it on every level, from the awkwardness to the body odor to the delightful hilarity that tweens bring to the table. When you connect with your students, it can be incredibly rewarding, and when you don't…well, we all read "Lord of the Flies," right?

Skilled teachers bring out the best in young people, and that can be done in many different ways. For Amy Allen, it's by making her middle school classroom a fun, welcoming place to learn and by bonding with her students.


"I love teaching middle schoolers because they are awkward, and I’m awkward, so we get along," Allen tells Upworthy.

She plays games with students, gets rambunctious with them and creates opportunities for them to expend some of that intense pre-and-early-teen energy in healthy ways. For instance, she shared a video of a game of "grudgeball," an active trivia game that makes reviewing for a quiz or test fun and competitive, and you can see how high-energy her classroom is:

@_queenoftheclassroom

If this looks like fun to you, pick up my grudgeball template (🔗 in bio) #qotc #grudgeball #10outof10recommend @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️

"I think for teachers, we always want to create moments for our students that are beyond the standard reading, writing, memorizing, quiz, 'traditional learning,'" Allen says. "Games are a great way to incorporate fun in the classroom."

Allen clearly enjoyed the game as much as her students—"I love the chaos!" she says— and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Fun keeps teachers sane, too. But one person took issue with her classroom behavior and commented, "your a teacher act like it." (Not my typo—that's exactly what the person wrote, only with no period.)

Allen addressed the comment in another video in the most perfect way possible—by acting exactly like a teacher.

Watch:

@_queenoftheclassroom

Replying to @كل الكلبات تريد مني Come see me if you have any further questions. #qotc #iteachmiddleschool #weDEFINITELYdonthavefuninhere @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️ #Inverted

There are two solid ways to handle a rude comment without making things worse—you can ignore it or you can craft a response that makes the person look like a fool without being cruel or rude yourself. Allen's grammar lesson response was A+ work, right down to the "Come see me if you have any further questions" caption.

In fact, the person apparently went back and deleted their comment after the comeback video went viral, which makes it all the more hilarious. The video currently has more than 4 million views on TikTok and over 18 million views on YouTube.

"What’s funny is I left my correction on the board accidentally, and the next day, students asked me what that was all about," Allen says. "When I explained it, they thought it was cool because 'why would anyone go after Ms. Allen'? At that point, the video had maybe 10,000 views. I never imagined the video would go viral."

Two days later, as the video was creeping toward a million views, she upped the stakes. "Some of my students are my ultimate hype people, and they were tracking it harder than I was," she says. "I made a 'deal' with my fifth period if it reached 1 million during their class, they could sit wherever they wanted the entire week. During lunch, I checked, and it reached 1 million. So when they came back from recess, I announced it, and it was like I was a rockstar. They screamed and cheered for me. It was an incredible moment for me."

The irony, of course, is that Allen was acting like a teacher in her grudgeball video—an engaged teacher with engaged students who are actively participating in the learning process. Just because it doesn't look like serious study doesn't mean it's not learning, and for some kids, this kind of activity might be far more effective at helping them remember things they've learned (in this case, vocabulary words) than less energetic ways of reviewing.

Allen has her thumb on the pulse of her students and goes out of her way to meet them where they are. Last year, for instance, she created a "mental health day" for her students. "I could tell they were getting burnt out from all the state tests, regular homework, and personal life extracurricular activities that many of my students participate in," she says. "We went to my school library for 'fireside reading,' solved a murder mystery, built blanket forts, watched the World Cup, colored, and completed sudokus. Is it part of the curriculum? No. Is it worth spending one class period doing something mentally rewarding for students? Absolutely."

Teaching middle school requires a lot of different skills, but perhaps the most important one is to connect with students, partly because it's far easier to teach someone actually wants to be in your classroom and partly because effective teaching is about so much more than just academics. A teacher might be the most caring, stable, trustworthy adult in some students' lives. What looks like silly fun and games in a classroom can actually help students feel safe and welcomed and valued, knowing that a teacher cares enough to try to make learning as enjoyable as possible. Plus, shared laughter in a classroom helps build a community of engaged learners, which is exactly what a classroom should be.

Keep up the awesome work, Ms. Allen, both in the classroom and in the comment section.

You can follow Amy Allen on TikTok and YouTube.

89Stocker and cottonbro studios|Canva

Mom makes case for getting life insurance on child's other parent

Nobody wants to think about what happens if their child's other parent dies unexpectedly. It's not a pleasant topic but unfortunately it is something that happens sometimes and parents have to do their best to pick up the pieces after such a tragic loss. One mom, had the unfortunate experience of living through this tragedy and she took to social media to explain the steps she took to prepare for this day.

Kelsey Pumel, a multi-hyphenate TikTok creator recently had to help her young daughter process the unexpected loss of her biological father. Pumel and Kobe's father were never married and had broken up years prior but she admits to carrying a life insurance policy on him. The topic was brought up when her viewers informed her that she should file for social security death benefits to assist with the financial responsibility of caring for Kobe.

That's when the mom of five revealed that she took out a life insurance policy on Kobe's father when she was pregnant for multiple reasons.


"I have gotten many rude comments about the life insurance and some wild accusations made but I'm going to say this and I need y'all to hear me. If you have a child with somebody, you should have life insurance one that person, period," Pumel says. "If something were to happen, you're going to get that kickback of money to help you either raise your kids or to make up for the income that is now missing."

In a follow up video she clarifies that you do need the other person's consent in order to take out the policy. Pumel also answers the question on what she's doing with the insurance money after the death of her child's father.

"When I first got the money, I did take a chunk of it and I paid off all of my student loans, now stick with me. Why did I do that? Well, I had about $95K worth of student loans, my interest was over $6K a year. I wasn't even cutting any of it down trying to pay it with that type of interest." She reveals after talking it over with her dad who was helping pay the loans.

"So we came up with a payment plan that pays the entire $95K plus interest back to Kobe, paying it monthly into a 529 Plan, which is a college fund for her. So all that money will go into that plan for her. If she doesn't go to college or doesn't use all of it, it will be kicked over in an investment account that she will be able to pull at retirement age."

@growingwithkelsey

Replying to @bossyasf83 Correct me if im wrong about SS benefits but thats what I was told. But Kobe is going to be alright! I promise you I am getting her the brightest future possible set up! ♥️🫶🏼 #lifeinsurance

Not only is Pumel making sure Kobe has money to retire with, she's taking some of the money and putting it into a high yield account for her daughter. She also plans to buy a real estate property that will go to the little girl when she turns 18. Really, Pumel has thought of everything she could to make sure her daughter is set up to be financially secure her entire life.

While no one wishes for their children to experience the death of a parent before their time, this mom proves that having a life insurance policy on a coparent is simply a smart choice. Parents in the comments are applauding her for talking about this so openly.

@growingwithkelsey

Replying to @ohitsamber84 There are so many ways to set up an financial future for your children without big chunks of money! I strongly recommend talking with a financial advisor if you have kids and seeing what options you may have to ensure them a strong future. ♥️🫶🏼

"And BOOM that is how generational wealth is made baby! Good for you mama," one person says.

"Girl your daughter may not understand now. But when she gets older she will thank you immensely," another writes.

"That's perfect! Exactly what she'll need! Car, college, house...set her up to have no debt," someone else proclaims.

A tourist visiting Italy. (Representative image)

Americans pride themselves on living in the “best country in the world.” However, the American way of life isn’t for everyone and some prefer the more laid-back approach to life that people enjoy in Europe.

Four years ago, a writer named Roze left her tiny apartment in Los Angeles, booked a one-way flight to Turn, Italy and never looked back. Now, she documents her new life in Europe on TikTok to inspire others to pursue their dreams.

Recently, she posted a video in which she counts down 5 things that she’ll never do now that she lives in Italy. These are examples of the relief some Americans feel when they move to Europe and settle into their new, stress-free lifestyle.


1. Rush

"One of the first things that attracted me to Italian culture is the fact that people don't seem to be in a rush. There are no drive-thrus. People don't walk and eat. If you need a coffee, you sit down and drink a cup of coffee. There's always time for that."

2. Own a car

"I don't plan on ever living in a place where you need a car to get around. I don’t like the expense of a car and it’s just bad for the environment.”

3. Live for work

“I’ll never obsess about work as much as I used to do in the U.S. Now, I'm not saying that people don't work here. People work very hard, but there's not as many people who make working hard their whole personality."

@rozeinitaly

A few ways my perspective has changed since moving abroad, maybe some other American immigrants can relate? #fivethingschallenge #5thingsiwouldneverdo #5thingschallenge #americanimmigrant #movingabroadtips #expatsinitaly #italylifestyle #lifeinitaly🇮🇹

4. Trust the internet for business hours

"If you look it up on Google Maps, it says that it's open from 10 am to, I think, 7 or 7:30 pm. Does that mean I can go there at like 2:30 3 o'clock? No. What is not listed on there is that they are closed from 1 to 4 for lunch."

5. Worry about medical bills

“I just don’t plan on living anywhere where there is not some kind of universal healthcare.”

@inspiringbelfast/TikTok

Maybe this dose of wholesome humanity brighten your day.

Imagine walking down the street, minding your own business, when a complete stranger unfurls a red carpet at your feet. What do you do? Awkwardly avoid it and continue along your route? Tell the person off for not respecting boundaries? Or do you wholeheartedly accept the impromptu invitation and strut your best stuff?

For the passersby of Belfast, option three was the only choice.

Alan Wallace, who routinely posts uplifting videos that “share the warmth” of his hometown over on TikTok, recently added a video of himself going up to random folks on the street and giving them a moment to shine. And let’s just say, they nailed it.


Folks from all walks of life—including a construction worker that could be Michael Sheen’s doppelgänger—lit up at the opportunity to catwalk, skateboard, cartwheel and even do the worm down the crimson strip.

In a mere matter of seconds, we see all that humanity has to offer—humor, free expression, joy, inclusivity, connection. Such powerful stuff shown in the simplest way.

Even if the moment wasn’t quite as spontaneous as the video makes it appear (Wallace likely asked for permission before rolling the carpet out each time) these people still agreed to play. And that’s what’s magical about it.

“Everyone understood the assignment, from young to old, it was perfect,” one viewer wrote.

@inspiringbelfast Red carpet for strangers in Belfast #inspiringbelfast #belfastcity #belfast #heartwarming ♬ Beautiful Things (Sped Up) - Benson Boone

It’s natural for most people to not want to interact with strangers. And of course there are legitimate safety reasons influencing this instinct. But a lot of the time our avoidance comes from expecting things to be unenjoyable. And yet, research shows not only that people are often pleasantly surprised by how much connection, kindness, belonging and optimism they end up experiencing.

So maybe we don’t need a red carpet to simply enjoy saying hi to someone we meet on the street and reaping the benefits. But hey, it certainly helps.

Representative Image from Canva

Every parent should know about this game. Many have experienced it as kids.

Nurse and mom Jinny Schmidt wants parents to be aware of a game that’s circulating amongst tweens right now, because it’s not a game at all.

In a PSA posted to her TikTok, Schmidt shared that her daughter informed her that boys in her class were beginning to play what she called “The Firetruck Game.”

As Schmidt begins to describe what the “game” entails, it’s easy to see why she’s concerned. All parents should be.


Here’s how the game works: a boy puts his hand on a girl’s lower thigh. And he tells her “my hand is a firetruck” as he slowly moves it up her leg. When the girl gets uncomfortable, she is supposed to say “red light.” Except for when the girl says “red light,” the boy responds with “sorry, firetrucks don’t stop for red lights.” And so they run their hand all the way up the girl’s leg, Schmidt explains, and sometimes they “touch the girl’s crotch.” Yikes.

Many viewers noted growing up with the Firetruck Game, or a version called “The Nervous Game,” or “Red Light Green Light.” Suddenly The “Squid Game” version of “Red Light Green Light” doesn’t seem so bad.

No matter what it’s called, though, it’s touching without consent, and is inappropriate on so many levels, not least of which being that it’s an excuse for sexual assault. Hence Schmidt’s alarm.

“I know that kids will be kids and kids will do some stupid shit, But we’ve got to do better teaching our boys to keep their hands off of other people and teaching our girls that it’s okay to have boundaries,” she says, before asking parents to “be aware” if they hear their kids talking about it.
@the.funny.nurse Y’all gonna see me on the 6 O’clock news. #jrhigh #kids #tween #preteen #parents #moms #momsoftiktok #dads #dadsoftiktok #teacher #teachersoftiktok #publicschool #school #firetruck #firetruckgame #firetruckgameawareness #girls #boys #game ♬ original sound - Jin-Jin

And she is, of course, absolutely right. Folks who watched her video wholeheartedly agreed that the behavior should not be tolerated, and many shared some pretty intense, although warranted, reactions to it.

“We’d be playing a game called Ambulance next,” one person wrote.

“Press charges,” said another.

“We have a game also. It’s called ‘oops I broke your finger,’” a third added.

But many also chimed in to say that they would be talking to their kids immediately about it, which is probably the best route overall. That way kids can protect themselves, and others around them.

Middle school years in general are pretty rough. They can be just as difficult to navigate for parents as they can be for the kids going through it. It’s painful to watch your still baby-faced child go through many of the same awful pains that you did, many of which are unavoidable. But some things, like terrible and abusive games, can be avoided. So make sure to have those important conversations when you can.