Some times of year are thick with educational nostalgia. Graduations and the start of a school year are traditional times to reflect on your years in educational service. Veteran teachers wax philosophic if they would still start a career in education with the “current state” of education.

When educators look back, what do we miss? Does that nostalgia indicate a decline in the profession?

Educational Nostalgia


Closing the classroom door is something all teachers do – still – it is terrifying and freeing. Classroom educators can meet standards in such a wide array of paths now. Teachers would be hard pressed to not be surprised at a method a colleague uses at some point in any given school year; still, after all this time.

Some educators yearn for the autonomy of their earlier years, where – if you believe them, they literally taught whatever they felt like. While I don’t know how factual that is or is not…

We still have autonomy, but with transparency we have a responsibility for our educational decisions.


Some educators identify the respect for educators as their primary nostalgia. Chances are, some of those educators weren’t as well respected as they thought. Yet, there was little recourse or appetite or research to replace a less than perfect educator.

Educators are respected. However, teachers are not just respected because they are hired, but because they consistently earn/keep the trust of all the stakeholders. Increased visibility demands increased standards for each other and ourselves.


For all the increased scrutiny of scores and grades, no one has yet legislated fun out of your classroom. Many things are pushed into the classroom climate, but the weather is still up to the teacher of that class. You can still have fun with your students while checking those new boxes.

If your nostalgic conversations this time of year includes more than: humorous references to old technologies and relief over the new connectedness of educators, examine your views of how education “has always been.”