Teacher Life: Trading Stickers

Today two of my third grade girls brought in stickers to trade with me.

My collection is a bit sparse and rather random at the moment, but I think the fact that I only give kids a sticker when they amass 1,000 points on the board (which, let’s be honest, takes forever) makes my stickers something of a fascination.

We haggled for a bit. I insisted on one-for-one trades only. Eventually, we were all satisfied.

One girl brought her huge book of stickers, which unearthed memories of my own giant sticker book that I showed off to people when I was a kid. The purpose of the book was mainly to show me her goods. The stickers she got from me went immediately onto her smartphone. The obvious choice. (Don’t even get me started on how strange it is that all my little students have smartphones.)

After our transactions had been completed, I looked at the girls’ phones to discover they had stuck emoji stickers (from me) on either side of the circle button on the bottom of their phones. Exactly what I had done to my phone.

“Wow, we all match!” I said.

My excitement waned as I thought about the implications of our matching decorations. It was cute they had copied me, but I suddenly realized that my phone looked like it had been decorated by a Korean third grader. Not only that, but I have become someone who gets excited about decorating her phone with emoji stickers..

Korea, what have you done to me?

One of my new acquisitions. Plopped it right on the back of my phone. It pretty much speaks for itself.



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Elizabeth is a teacher, preacher, musician, and writer. She has a Master's of Divinity and a Master's of Music, which represent her two great loves: Jesus and the arts. A half-Korean, half-white American, she spent seven years in South Korea teaching English. Elizabeth is a perpetual learner, a deep feeler, and a pursuer of beauty and truth.

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