I had suggested to our 2 literacy teacher at the end of last month - what would be a good way to motivate students? How can we get your students to come on time, do their homework and participate in class? Together with Lily and Nelly, our two spectacular literacy teachers, we came up with the idea of a visual competition. The teachers put stickers under each students name when they do something noteworthy during class, not unlike what I am sure many kindergarden and 1st grade teachers do in the U.S. My job this week was to visit the classes, count the stickers, and give out prizes for 1st place work.
The reaction I received from the class when handing out the prizes wasn't a reaction of 'I am going to motivate to get a prize next month,' or 'wow, all my hard work paid off.' The reaction was more of, 'why didn't I get a prize?' and 'we all have been working hard.' As I was walking past the cow pastures and adobe houses on my way back to the office I thought to myself 'why didn't I see it coming?' Peruvians are notorious for sharing - especially when it comes to food and gifts. Everyone present always gets something. Nobody is ever left out. I was totally counter culture here. I am already brainstorming for next month. I am thinking everyone will get something - like a pencil - and then still give out another smaller prize for 1st place work. That way no one goes home empty handed.
Paz ~ Nora