These 50 Clues Reveal How Long You’ve Been Teaching

These 50 Clues Reveal How Long You've Been Teaching

We asked the Bored Teachers community, “Tell us how long you’ve been teaching without telling us how long you’ve been teaching!” The answers are hysterical! If you’ve been teaching a long time, you’ll relate to most of these. Newer teachers might remember these scenarios from their time as a student. And very young teachers probably won’t know what most of this means – but they have their own set of unique circumstances.

You’ve been teaching a while if you remember this technology:

  1. “I used to make copies with purple ink.”
  2. “I used an overhead projector in the corner as a nightlight while I turned the classroom lights off so the kids could see while I was projecting on an overhead projector.”
  3. “I still have a file folder of blank overhead transparencies.”
  4. “The giant tube TV on a cart with a VCR was a prized possession. In the winter, I’d warm myself as I drew grammar notes on the overhead projector.”
  5. “I know how to use a ditto machine and filmstrip projector.”
  6. “One of my college projects was on how to do a web quest.”
  7. “I used filmstrips with the ‘beep’ to turn to the next slide.”
  8.  “I needed a calculator to average grades.”
  9. “I used color coded floppy disks to save my best lessons.”
  10. “Sometimes I accidentally call my document camera ‘the overhead’.”

You’re an experienced teacher if you followed these procedures:

  1. “I received paper paychecks in my cubbyhole mailbox in the office twice a month. I had to call my principal early in the morning if I was sick and she would call in my sub.”
  2. “I remember averaging grades by hand and then recording those grades on index cards in storage bins in the teacher workroom.”
  3. “If I wanted to use a laptop and projector, I had to check it out from the library and pick it up in the morning and return it in the afternoon!”
  4. “When you missed a phone call, the front office put a little pink handwritten note on your mailbox.”
  5. “I’ve handwritten IEPs on triplicate carbon paper.”

You’ve been teaching a while if your former students are…:

  1. “My elementary students are now parents.”
  2. “The first graders I student taught can legally buy alcohol this year.”
  3. “My first students wore parachute pants and loved Cabbage Patch dolls.”
  4. “One of my teammates is young enough to be my daughter.”
  5. “My students banged erasers together at recess.”
  6. “I taught kids how to fix the cassette tapes in the listening center with a pen.”
  7. “If I ever have kids, I don’t know what to name them. No name is safe anymore. I’ve had them all.”
  8. “I was probably your mom’s kindergarten teacher.”
  9. “One of my former second graders is now a senator.”

You’ve been teaching a while if you have experienced:

  1. “My technology in education class in college taught me how to make colored overhead transparencies with magazine pictures and rubber cement!”
  2. “VCR’s were cutting edge tech.”
  3. “When I started teaching, we were only using chalk and blackboards.”
  4. “I didn’t have email.”
  5. “Staff meetings were just once a month.”
  6. “I didn’t know what asynchronous or synchronous learning was!”
  7. “I had chalk all over my clothes and vis-a-vis ink all over my hands.” (Teacher Style Box would have been so handy!)
  8. “My first classroom had a green chalkboard.”
  9. “Parents appreciated teachers and made our jobs easier.”
  10. “I constantly said, ‘Don’t sniff the ink on your dittos or your nose will be purple!'”
  11. “I became a teacher so I could sniff the purple ink!”
  12. “My hands would be stained from the overhead projector markers.”
  13. “I was fired from my first teaching job in for voting ‘yes’ that the Black teachers’ union could merge with the white teachers’ union.”
  14. “I now have to dye my gray hair every three weeks, instead of every five weeks.”
  15. “I avoided the teacher lounge for fear of emphysema from all of the cigarette smoke.”
  16. “Clipart made me so happy!”
  17. “I can remember how to use a mimeo machine, but not the password I reset yesterday.”

And the flipside: “Pandemic teaching is my norm.”

On the other hand, some teachers responses made it clear they’ve only been in the field a short time.

  1. “I have more teaching experience during a pandemic than not during a pandemic.” 
  2. “There are books in my classroom older than me.”
  3. “My students are closer to my age than my co-teacher.”
  4. “I was hired through a Zoom interview.”
  5. “I dated the older brother of one of my students.”
  6. “I’ve never set foot in my own classroom.”
  7. “My student teaching was all online.”
  8. “I’ve never taught without wearing a mask.”
  9. “I don’t know what most of the things mentioned in this thread are. I’ve never heard of dittos.”

Come join the #teacherlife community for more entertaining content!


Like it? Share with your friends!

Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., an editor at Bored Teachers, is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She's been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga. Connect with her at rachael.m@boredteachers.com
Choose A Format
Share your amazing stories, tips, opinions, and other stuff that matters.
Upload your funny, inspiring, DIY, or informative video(s) for the world to see!
Personality quiz
Leave the serious quizzes at school, these are strictly fun! You make the questions and pre-define the results.
Trivia quiz
Time to test your friends' knowledge! You choose the subject and have fun seeing who scores the highest!
Pose any question to millions of educators by creating your own polls/surveys, whether for research, for fun, or for the sake of curiosity!
Share your classroom decor, costumes, funny classroom antics, silly grading moments, or other teacher life shenanigans!

Get the best teacher newsletter your inbox has ever seen!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Get the best teacher newsletter your inbox has ever seen!

Don't worry, we don't spam