Thursday, September 30, 2010

Would You Like a Baby Climbing out of an Ice Skate?

Down in the Lower School (PreK-5th grade) of the Quaker school where I spend my days, the kids get stickers from their teachers pretty regularly.  By Middle School, though, they're far too sophisticated for stickers.

One of my jobs is to arrange for the diplomas.  I start in the fall because I like to get my order in early.  Do you know how hard it is to get 60 to 80 18-year-olds to drop by the office to tell me their middle names?  And then to come back and confirm that what is printed on the order form is accurate?

I thought you might.

But it turns out that by the age of eighteen, kids are pretty much sticker-deprived.  They haven't received any for ever, or so it seems. And their faces light up when one is offered!   So I keep a little box of assorted stickers on my desk.  It's fun.  I'll find out that some great big soccer player's middle name is "Patrick" and then I'll peer into my sticker box and say to him, "Would you like a googly monster with blue arms OR would you like a baby sitting on a watermelon?"  Oh!  The indecision!  And it turns out he can't resist the baby sitting on the watermelon.  Other kids will notice the sticker (some put it on their shirt, others on their hands) and inquire and then in they come.  And that pretty girl whose middle name is Rose will walk away smiling over the frog wearing a waistcoat.  I've been at it a week, now and am about two-thirds done.

I once had to offer a sticker to a faculty member who just had the worst time remembering to bring back his signed contract (talk about the absent-minded professor) and now it's become required.  Faculty and staff get them, also, for turning in their emergency forms.  Or for making me laugh.  I love it.  And they love it.

Who knew?

Tomorrow I just might offer the calculus teacher a pug dog sitting in a teacup.  And he'll be utterly delighted.


12 comments:

Nancy said...

I think I need to buy some stickers for the college age son....

1 for when he puts his dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink.
1 for him when he calls to tell me when he will be home.
1 for when he does his own laundry...

This might work....

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Wow, talk about timing--I ordered a book of 90 striped stickers from MOO just last night!~! I love it.

Linda said...

Heh, heh, heh, great minds think alike!!! When I taught junior and senior high English, I used stickers on their work. I used to stick the stickers on until they all asked if I'd just attach them so they could stick them wherever they wanted--like on their faces, hands, jeans, etc. It was a hoot!
And I must admit when my 30 year old daughter bought me a child's book, I loved it! It was all about loving your mommy!
Lurking Linda

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Perfect, it's all about incentives!!

Pat said...

Nancy, you are one smart cookie.

Do you think we can apply this method for husbands as well? Putting the toilet seat down comes to mind.....

Belva said...

This is why I love stopping by your blog. This just made me smile. How easy to make the world a better place with silly stickers. I LOVE it!

Micki said...

Yes, stickers work on HS students too, and boy do they love them! I used to teach English on the HS and JR. High level.
Micki

Patty Nordahl said...

I love your thought process and now I am trying to think of how stickers can make my world a little lighter Thanks again for brightening my day

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,
I too was a high school English teacher who was amazed at how much h.s. kids loved stickers and my daughter who is now the family h.s. teacher has found the same. She shops everywhere for stickers for her kids.
Love your blog, as always,
Sue

AnnieO said...

This is the cutest thing ever--it's making me smile just picturing those 18 year olds AND faculty members enjoying stickers. You are so smart!

Gretchen said...

Bringing joy to the world one sticker at a time. I LOVE it!

WV: ogeni (with the light brown hair)

Tanya said...

That is the most wonderful idea and sooooooo much better than nagging! And look how much you get to know about people! And look at how much they love you for your inncentive. Now... I need to go find some stickers...