Old literacies, old teachers, old standards. I feel old in the new literacy landscape and I am still fairly early in my teaching and learning to be ‘teacher’. I wish for relevant, empowering contexts for education. Reading and writing are still relevant and empowering, changed, yet the grounding is the same. I ground myself in the teachings of John Dewey – one hundred years old and still fresh. The school is a microcosm of the society around it. The school brings experiences to the students which they can not have in their own homes yet will need in their lives after school. My students can teach me the new literacies; I can teach them old standards; together we can navigate through the new landscape. ‘Old standards’, strangely I like the sound of that. I dislike the regimentation and rigidity of standardized testing; standardized testing and that all pervasive term ‘accountability’. Standardized tests and accountability without the recognition of individuality and adaptation for varied growth rates makes students and teachers into assembly lines. ‘Old standards’ are different. ‘Old standards’ are like the music of the big band, a musical work open for improvisation and variation endlessly adaptable. Adaptable standards, I can work hard to achieve.