Teachers Describe The Differences Between Students In 1997, 2007, And 2017

As society continues to evolve in unprecedented ways, it stands to reason that school students today differ greatly from students 20 or even 10 years ago. Students today compared to students in 1997 or 2007 possess nearly limitless resources when it comes to information and understand technologies that baffle generations before of them. Furthermore, many strides made in LGBTQ representation and an emphasis on political correctness exposed today's students to more open and accepting attitudes. Even still, many teacher horror stories also reveal students of today suffer from a lack of empathy and social skills. So how have today's students changed from those of 1997 and 2007?

Teachers point towards troublesome parents as one reason for the negative qualities they now see in their students, positing that shifts in parental attitudes towards schooling and grading adversely affect their students. With the advent of cell phones and tablets, students now also spend less time communicating physically, resulting in poor interpersonal habits. Thanks to the teachers of Reddit, the world is coming closer to an answer on how students have changed. But, like many answers, they're not necessarily fun to look at.

  • Like Onions And Ogres, These Students Have Layers

    From Redditor /u/sadpato:

    '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 developing a personality, anything you could think of has already been done.

  • Does Not Compute

    From Redditor /u/LixpittleModerators:

    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.'

  • Phoning In And Up

    From Redditor /u/ColinHalfhand:

    No phones.

    Small phones.

    Big phones.

  • What Does It Mean To 'Get An Education'?

    From Redditor /u/OPNeedsToBeCalledOut:

    As a college instructor who is 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 sh*t if I don't get at least a Master's I'm going to be made redundant by a robot.
  • Today's Kids Lack Confidence

    From Redditor /u/banquoinchains

    I teach English at a rural high school. The biggest issue for 2017 students is that they have almost zero self-confidence. I don't know if this is a product of culture, or if this is just a fluke with my students. However, they are unwilling to try anything challenging or new without an extreme amount of one-on-one guidance, something that's very difficult to give in a classroom of 30.

  • They've Grown More Colorful

    From Redditor /u/abandoningeden:

    I teach in college.

    • 1997: Colorful hair and piercings
    • 2007: no Colorful hair, lots of tattoos
    • 2017: Colorful hair and tattoos

    The other main difference was that in 1997, no one talked about being gay. In 2007 students came out to me privately in my office. By 2017, students talk about being gay in class.