For many of us '90s babies, the 1990s feel like just yesterday. Days where backpacks were filled with Lisa Frank binders, everyone had fresh No. 2 pencils, and a Lunchable in their lunchbox. Unfortunately for our memories, schools in 2019 are no longer like that. Not too many kids need binders when most of their work is done online; pencils aren't used too often anymore due to the ease of pens and iPads; and "kewl" lunchboxes displaying our favorite pop culture fads are pretty dated these days. A lot has changed in the pass 20 years and it can be eye-opening to see the differences from classrooms in the '90s to classrooms in 2019. What's below may shock some '90s kids but it's something they need get comfortable with if they're having children of their own.
10 School Shooting Drills
It's sad, disturbing, sickening, and recommended all at once. In the '90s, school shootings rarely happened, and when they did, the media covered it and changes were made. These days, shootings practically happen every month.
While many parents are mad at the fact that their kids may have to learn active shooter safety guidelines, they need to know that it's for the well-being of their child. Many schools across the US have drills in case a shooter does take their halls.
9 Modern Technology Rooms
Do you remember when every elementary, middle, and high school had one computer lab? The singular lab probably hosted 20, maybe 30 computers. The computers were always a tad dated...but they were still computers! Kids and teens were excited to be on one for an extended amount of time and learn how to type without a moment's notice. In 2019 though, there's typically more than one lab in some schools—with much more modern computers than we had in the '90s. In 2019, kids need to know basic computer skills—not just learning how to type fast.
8 Language Classes In Primary Schools
Personally, my school district didn't have language courses for us to take until we reached high school. But wouldn't it be nice to learn the language when we were young, where it's more likely to stick with us? The answer is yes.
In 2019, many primary schools are picking up on the importance of learning a foreign language, meaning kids can focus on new words and phrases for an hour a day. Something tells me this notion will spread like wildfire.
Again, WiFi wasn't really a big deal in the '90s. No one had cell phones, tablets, or laptops. Teachers who needed a connection generally used an ethernet cord or stuck by their desktop computer. These days, WiFi is a necessity—especially if lessons are taught on computers. While some teachers may hate the fact that kids can log on to the WiFi so quickly, it's there for a reason: to learn and explore.
6 Healthier Food Options For Gluten-Free & Plant-Based Students
Most '90s kids can remember their school cafeteria lunches being a little stale. Selections typically featured fat, cheesy pizza, chicken nuggets, cartons of milk, and maybe some kind of pasta dish. But the food game has changed in 2019.
With more and more studies being published about our children's behavioral needs linked with the food they eat, schools are putting an emphasis on healthier lunches. Instead of fried chicken nuggets and a sad salad with one tomato, they're focusing on all dietary restrictions and creating fresh options, which is refreshing to see.
5 Whiteboards Are Becoming More And More Popular Instead Of Chalkboards
Some kids adored writing on the chalkboard when their teacher called on them, while others dreaded it. Knowing all eyes were on them could be nerve-racking. Chalkboards are still very much a thing in classrooms today, but many schools are opting for whiteboards or smartboards instead. Whiteboards are easier to write and draw on, while smartboards have tech capabilities that chalkboards could (sadly) never match.
4 Standing Desks
It's no surprise to anyone that the obesity levels in North America are insanely high. With the incredible amount of snacks and fried foods we have, our poor children are getting bigger and bigger.
To take a stand against the norm, some classrooms across the US are implementing standing desks. These desks will allow kids to move around and be a little bit more flexible than just sitting all day. The option to sit is still there but if they want to stand up and stretch, they absolutely can.
3 Therapy Dogs
Let's be honest, we all love therapy animals. We may not always be allowed to pet or hug them as often as we'd like but if we are allowed to pet them, we sure take advantage of it. Some schools connect with various programs, bringing in therapy dogs a couple of times a week to help kids release anxious energy, stress, or fear of test-taking. Seeing a fluffy dog who is excited to see and smell everyone walking around the halls is a wonderful gift schools are giving.
Remember how I said computers can be found in just about every room in schools these days? Well, when computers run dry, iPads are given. iPads are smaller, compact, and not as big of a pain as most computers are.
What's even crazier is some schools have classroom iPads for their students. Given a serial number and all the accessories, kids can use it in class and bring it home after school to use for homework. When it comes to the last day of school, students return the iPads back to their teacher and it's repeated the next year.
1 Adjustable Furniture
When we think back to life in a '90s classroom, we think of our desks chairs all lined up in rows. Whenever our teacher decided to move the classroom around, it always took a while and was tough to get into groups.
One school in North Olmsted, Ohio found a way to make group learning more effective: adjustable furniture. According to Ed Week, they have "chairs that swivel and roll, high-top desks, short stools, adjustable chairs, or upholstered chairs." This can spread the likelihood of working in groups and sharing information, which seems super smart.