A sixth grade teacher shared nostalgic 90s songs with students — and TikTok is obsessed with their responses

composite image of screenshots of @jonfishman8's tiktok -- one showing Fishman with the text "I played the song for my 6th graders that was all over the radio the year I started teaching. Here are their responses." and on the right, a sticky note that reads: "Did he lose his voice. Nothing to do with Smashing Pumpkins."
Sixth graders react to '90s songs.TikTok;@jonfishman8
  • Sixth-grade English teacher Jon Fishman played "1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins for his students.

  • Fishman shared their responses to TikTok, from "cringe" to "nothing about smashing pumpkins."

  • Viewers loved the series and begged him to continue, offering suggestions for the next listening session.

Jon Fishman, a sixth-grade English teacher in Coconut Creek, Florida, sometimes plays "nostalgic" 90s tunes for his classroom — and their responses are pretty priceless.

The middle schoolers, born around 2012, write their reactions to the tracks on sticky notes.

Fishman has played the class a range of number-one songs from 1978, when he was their age, to varying success. (Student responses to Blondies' "Heart of Glass" included colloquial praise such as "happy, catchy, vibey," to the denouncement of "old person music," and the absolutely scathing: "interesting...?")

But TikTok, with its broad and deep-seated love of '90s ephemera, is particularly obsessed with how Fishman's class reacted to the alt-rock song "1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins.

In 1997, the tune was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammys. Rolling Stone readers ranked it as the second-best Smashing Pumpkins song, after "Mayonaise."

In a March 28 TikTok, Fishman shared his classroom's discerning reviews. The video has since been viewed more than 1 million times.

"Did he lose his voice?" one student wrote of legendary frontman Billy Corgan, before observing: "Nothing to do with smashing pumpkins."

Some recognized the song from their parents' playlists. Others noted it was noticeably "not autotuned." ("Bro, we barely had computers then," one commenter pointed out).

Children are the future, and the mediators and diplomats of tomorrow described the song with equanimity — "It's not the best, but I could listen to it. Very chill."

Others cut to the chase, describing the song as "cringe, weird words, old" and a deferential "very cringe, sounds old. No offense Mr. Fishman."

The song is frontman Billy Corgan's "most wistful" pop hit, according to Rolling Stone, which described the song's reckless and restless energy as an adult looking back "on the aimless fun of adolescence with a touch of melancholy and longing."

Some students mirrored the evanescent feeling so many teens discovered upon its original release, writing "it's giving summer and cool kids" and "reminds me of a song that you would listen to right after school's out."

Or, even more to the point of a quintessential jam standing on the shoulders of grunge giants such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam: "It reminds me of depression."

Viewers told Fishman they loved the series — quoting favorites like "nothing to do with pumpkins" — and begged him to continue, offering suggestions of other '90s songs to show the kids.

collage of fishman's sticky notes
Some students perfectly encapsulated the song's wistful, reckless energy.TikTok;@jonfishman8

"'This reminds me of a song you would listen to after school,' this kid gets it," wrote one viewer.

"'Summer and cool kids,'" another wrote. "Honestly made me tear up. One of my favorite songs of all time."

Gen-Z and millennials make up 80% of TikTok's userbase, and for younger viewers — including one who wrote Fishman was "literally my English teacher in sixth grade" — the series may be less bittersweet than amusing.

Fans of the series have reason to hope it will continue. Fishman uploaded a new TikTok on March 30. In it, the Red Hot Chili Peppers earn more fanfare from his classroom of middle school music critics.

Read the original article on Insider