Good job on being so terrible!

As an elementary school teacher, I tend to exude sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.  I like things that sparkle, I own a Hello Kitty calculator, and I have markers in every colour of the spectrum.  I like to pretend that all this comes with the territory but I think I’d probably be the same even if I was an accountant, or a police officer; people would just think I was really weird.

One of my co-Ts presented me with a stack of stickers to use with my afterschool class. I was ecstatic.  Free stickers!  Could life get any better? (Clearly the way to my heart is through a stationery store.) They seemed to be the cheesy, encouraging stickers teachers are so fond of.

IMG_4324And then I looked a bit closer, and realized that while stickers may be international, the sentiments expressed are not.

IMG_4326Do I want a golden egg?  There’s a question mark… so do I get it or not? My students love this sticker.  Why?

IMG_4325Aren’t snails famous for being slow?  And is it just me, or does that man have a medal stuck in his eye?

IMG_4327I think I’d be a bit worried if I got this sticker on a test…

Then came the “bad” stickers.  My sense of self-worth is fairly strong but I think even I might have fallen apart had I found one of these on my homework as a child.

IMG_4328My co-T explained that these were for the students who didn’t do so well.  Apparently the kids think they’re funny.  The above are for the students who made a few mistakes – hence the “oops!”

These are for the students who did very badly:


IMG_4332And finally, for the homework that is beyond redemption:

IMG_4333When I expressed concern for the students’ egos, my co-T looked extremely puzzled and said: “Don’t be silly.  Everybody loves stickers!”

I tried to explain that in Canada, students and parents might be slightly offended if they found a bomb or a pile of poop sticker on their homework.

She was astounded.

And she was right.  Each and every child who received a poop sticker was thrilled.  What is so darn funny about feces??


About Carrie K

Teacher, writer, traveller. Slightly neurotic. Overly talkative. Loving life. You can also follow me on Twitter: kimchigirl72
This entry was posted in Education, ex-pat, Korea, Korean schools, Life, Living abroad, Travel, Uncategorized, Work and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Good job on being so terrible!

  1. Barbara Kierstead says:

    Once again, a fantastic blog!

    Years ago, after a successful sports day, that is,even the parents were happy, the children began to trade 1st, 2nd, 3rd ribbons. They liked the different colours, despite the meaning of the ribbon. We can only try!!

  2. Katie says:


  3. Tammy says:

    Koreans think poop is really funny, you can find snack shops that sell red bean pastries shaped like piles of poo! Seems utterly unappetizing to Western palates but Koreans have so much fun with it. 🙂

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