This Teacher Uses ’90s Pop Culture To Highlight the Challenges of Teaching in 2024


Millennial teachers haven’t had it easy lately, OK? On TikTok, kids are shaming us for parting our hair down the middle and wearing skinny jeans. We’re getting served ads for posture correcters and orthopedic shoes (I want both, FYI). So when content comes along that hits that sweet, sweet overlap in the Venn diagram between “people still quoting ’90s pop culture” and “people who are teachers”? Perfection. Finally: something for us.

Thank you, @mrs.sum.

But in addition to being hilarious, Sarah’s ’90s pop culture TikToks hold important truths about the challenges of being a teacher in 2024. Each TikTok illustrates some reality of life in the classroom, whether it’s the impact of the teacher shortage, the unrealistic expectations from policies developed by people outside of the classroom, or the need to validate yourself in a system that doesn’t take care of its teachers. Her TikToks are humor, camaraderie, truth, and solidarity, all rolled into one.

I spent a good chunk of time watching Sarah’s account and laughing out loud at her ingenuity.

Here are my top five ’90s pop culture references paired with the teaching challenge they tackle.

Will Ferrell and Student Behavior

The top comment:

Via TikTok

Lloyd Christmas and the Teacher Shortage

This is a formal request for an entire TikTok account dedicated to Dumb & Dumber teaching comparisons. Thank you in advance to whoever takes on this selfless task.

Brandy, Whitney, and Unreasonable Expectations

She’s not wrong. (Also: Is there a more iconic duo?!)

Phoebe and Teacher Burnout

Double dare you to use this as your work email auto-response the next time you’re out.

Snoop Dogg and Teacher Appreciation

Ah, Snoop, America’s favorite teacher.

A huge thank-you to Sarah at @mrs.sum for making teachers feel seen while also making them laugh—especially the millennial teachers out there.

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