After the first day of school, Kid (a.k.a “the Kid”, or “KC”, or “DjKc”) came back explaining something about “tickets”. I wrongfully doubted her explanations, thinking her lack of speaking english had lead to misunderstandings (Kid only knew a few words of english when we got here).
There was this thing about getting “tickets” from the teacher. We do too have this concept in France. When a kid does well at something, he or she gets a “bon-point” from the teacher, kind of like American tickets. After 10 “bon-points”, they can “cash” the lot for a bigger prize, traditionally a small illustrated and educational card. With five cards, they can get an even bigger prize, like, maybe… a sticker, or… a notebook. This usually happens maybe once or twice a year for the best specimens. “Bon-points” are scarce. You would get one or two per week if you are good (or make the good choices as I’ve learned to say here!)
So having this in mind, I understood why Kid was so upset telling me that she had do give out five tickets to her teacher whenever she wanted to fill her water bottle or go to the restroom. Making some estimate in my mind, that would mean she’d be allowed to go to the restroom maybe twice a month. Which is not much.
Then I thought “ok, this is probably a way to teach the students they have to be responsible and go to the restroom during recess so they don’t disturb the classroom or miss out on class”. Still, Kid was so worried, because if she had to give five tickets to go to the loo someday because she forgot during recess, and that let’s say another time she was sick and had tummy pain and had to go once more, she’d have given all her tickets and wouldn’t be able to buy some candy (another story to come).
Having met with the teacher in the morning, I was absolutely positive she wasn’t some kind of cruel dragon, so I just thought I would help Kid to let it go, tell her to make a quick stop at the restroom at recess, and see how things would work out.
It turns out, after three weeks, she had already like 70 tickets. So… clearly not the same as it is in France, and no doubt Kid was super proud having so many “good choices tokens” in such a short amount of time from a new teacher in a new school, and a new language!