Saturday, April 24, 2010
These are the "Ewha stickers," the much desired carrot of Ewha's carrot and stick child disciplining approach to encouraging good behavior. There isn't actually any stick, besides getting the Korean teachers to yell at and maybe scare the kids, so we're pretty much dependent on bribary to get them to sit still and do a lot of things that kids never want to do. They can take the stickers and use them buy goodies from the front desk. For the younger kids there are pencil cases, pens, and rulers. For the older kids they can get computer game money and coupons for toasty sandwiches. Some of the older kids also use them to gamble with.
For my first two months I didn't actually know about the stickers (go Korean communication/teacher training). When I found out, I thought I could give out any old stickers, so I tried to give my students some animal stickers that I found in my desk. They were cute, but worthless as Ewha currency. The childrens quickly set me straight. Since than I have given them out like they are little sticky pieces of sugarless candy. It is an utterly painless way for me to bribe the kids and curry favor. The other American teachers are pretty stingy (mostly because they don't seem to like the children), but I see no reason to spare the stickers.
My ultimate goal, besides paying off the kids, is to pass out so many stickers that German style hyperinflation will take hold of the Ewha economy, hopefully resulting in new stickers or something equally exciting. According to my kids, the sticker payoff system as already had to be revalued twice during the past two years, causing the price of a toasty sandwich to increase from 30 stickers to it's current price of 120 stickers. Hopefully with time and determination I can help to drive the price up to at least 500 or so stickers.
Posted by catie at 10:24 PM