Monday, November 2, 2009

SLP Shopping Day

The reward system for good behaviour here at SLP, revolves around a system of what we call "stickers." The kids have a "sticker paper," a piece of paper with so many spaces, that when completed with either stickers, stamps or teacher initials, can be redeemed at the front desk for SLP Dollars.

Twice a year, at Children's Day in May, and at Halloween, at the end of October, the kids get the opportunity to go to the 'SLP store' which is set up in our multi-function room, to spend their dollars, and get some prizes for all their hard work, and diligent homework completion.

Needless to say, some kids have more bucks to burn than others.

Prizes range from the cheap, that any kid can afford, to the more expensive, that only the richest -- and therefor best behaved and most diligent students -- can afford to purchase.

The teachers are usually pretty lenient though, and the kids are encouraged to barter and ask for a discount.

First, the kids all come in and sit down while a teacher explains the most important phrases of the day, "How much is it?", "Can I please have a discount?" and, "Thank you for your help."

The kids tend to be pretty excited by this point, and are just barely hanging on to any explanations that you might give. It's time to let the feeding frenzy begin!

It's interesting to watch the kids shop, as it really shows their personalities, and probably to a certain extent their parents spending habits.

Some kids rush to the first table they see, buy the first thing that they can get their hands on, and then bemoan having spent all of their money so rashly, when they wander around to the other tables and see something that they wanted more.

Other kids, wander around to each table, see what there is to be had, make themselves a budget, and are finished shopping without making much of a fuss.

Still other children wander around with their dollars clutched tightly to their chest, and have a hard time parting with any of them, remembering how hard they worked to get them. Each child must spend every dollar they have, or forfeit its value, so this is a quite difficult task for these particular children.

The last stereotype of child spender is the one that amuses me the most. This is the kid that walks around with a mitt-full of cash, playing hard to get with the teachers about how much their willing to spend at each table. They take the bargaining advice to the fullest extent, and will barter and beg for discounts on the moderately priced items, even when they have enough cash to buy the most expensive items several times over.

As much of a hassle as it would be if every kid was so shrewd, these kids are the ones who tend to get the most out of Shopping Day, both in terms of items acquired, and English experience, as they are forced to talk a lot more, and must use more advanced vocabulary and grammar than the kids who just shuffle up to a table and pay the asking price with only a thank you.

It really amazes me that these, 'financial personalities' are expressing themselves in kids who are so young, many of them only in 2nd and 3rd grade.

Invariably, when we get back to class, I'll ask them what they thought of their trip to the SLP store.

"Oh, Teacher!," they'll lament, "Everything was soo expensive!"

If only they knew.

1 comment:

  1. TEACHER....... You are very observant.


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