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#646048 - Mon Aug 08 2011 08:18 PM Teachers 'n' Candy
bloomsby Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 3717
Loc: Norwich England UK            
Over the years I have occasionally heard stories to the effect that teachers in the US reward kids with candy. I used to dismiss such stories as jokes and/or anti-American propaganda ...

However, recently a former pupil of mine, who has worked abroad for many years as a multi-lingual secretary, considered becoming a teacher (in the UK). She obtained permission to sit in on classes here in England in order to find out what classrooms are actually like now and what goes on there nowadays. She told me that 'the bag of sweets (candy) has become part of the teacher's standard equipment' and that she has seen 16-year-olds (!) given sweets even for plagiarized assignments. Not surprisingly, she has withdrawn her application to train as a teacher.

Is it in fact the case that in some parts of the world 'the bag of sweet has become part of the teacher's standard equipment' and how widespread is this kind of thing?

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#646059 - Mon Aug 08 2011 10:06 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: bloomsby]
ga_jam831 Offline
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Registered: Thu May 26 2011
Posts: 456
Loc: Warner Robins Georgia USA     
I am from the USA. My Dad spent 20 years in the USAF so I attended schools in many several state as well as Department of Defense schools when we were overseas and there were no local schools for English speaking students. I also studied to become a teacher for a year before changing my major. I have never seen candy given as a reward on a routine basis. That is not to say I have never seen candy given out for some reason or another. When and for what reason...I do not recall. My best guess was that it was tied into a holiday.
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#646079 - Tue Aug 09 2011 02:25 AM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: ga_jam831]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11533
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
That shocks me. It would never have happened when I taught in England. You rewarded Children with stickers, or high praise.
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#646081 - Tue Aug 09 2011 03:33 AM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: ren33]
sue943 Online   content

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Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
I can remember when I was five that on Friday afternoons we were given a couple of dolly mixtures each by our teacher. I cannot remember if it was just the one teacher, possibly, but we were extremely well behaved anyway.
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#646211 - Tue Aug 09 2011 01:50 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: ren33]
bloomsby Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 3717
Loc: Norwich England UK            
I'd have thought that generally a word or two of praise and a pleasant smile from the teacher would be sufficient reward.

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#646216 - Tue Aug 09 2011 02:19 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: bloomsby]
Daymare Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 23 2010
Posts: 84
Unfortunately, school is to the point where if you reward a child (a smile, praise), you run the risk of practicing 'favoritism'.

I was never given sweets, thank goodness. I can just imagine trying to explain where I received the sweets from and my family raising the roof.

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#646220 - Tue Aug 09 2011 02:27 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: Daymare]
rayven80 Offline
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Registered: Mon Jan 22 2007
Posts: 498
Loc: Ft. Collins Colorado USA    
We never got candy as a reward. We got stickers and smiley faces.
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#646235 - Tue Aug 09 2011 03:03 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: rayven80]
gillimalta Offline
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Registered: Sat Apr 05 2008
Posts: 142
Loc: Ruthin, North Wales
I remember having a Star Chart for good behaviour. When we earned 20 stars, we would get a tube of Smarties...good job I wasn't keen on them!
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#646237 - Tue Aug 09 2011 03:22 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: rayven80]
Jakeroo Offline
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Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 1960
Loc: Alberta Canada
No stickers, no smiley faces, no stamps, no candy.

About the closest thing to a "reward" system was when we had to do "x" number of book reports every year and "stars" were hand-drawn in the boxes beside our name on the big posterpaper on the wall.

Extra homework, washing blackboards, filing books in the library, standing in the corner, detention, the "strap", the "yardstick" on fingers and thrown chalk were all "dished out" for inadequate performance/attitude.

I doubt that goes over well today, but I often think that today's kids have not necessarily benefitted either intellectually (such as when they pass kids who should fail simply because it might "damage" their self-esteem), or socially (by sometimes creating an "it's all about me" attitude) by overcompensation for some of the negative reinforcement practices carried out when I was in grade school.

It would be no surprise at all to me if some teachers reward students in cash/gift certificates (just another form of "sugar" lol), as it appears we live in more of a material/instant-gratification world these days, rather than an instrinsic one.


Edited by Jakeroo (Tue Aug 09 2011 03:24 PM)
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#646293 - Tue Aug 09 2011 08:59 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: Jakeroo]
veronikkamarrz Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 28 2006
Posts: 915
Loc: Carson City
Nevada USA 
I can't exactly remember why, but in elementary school (1st through 6th grade) we sometimes got a "Tootsie Pop". I see no problem with rewards of any kind.
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#646301 - Tue Aug 09 2011 09:14 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: veronikkamarrz]
wdstk Offline
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Registered: Fri May 02 2008
Posts: 1474
Loc: Woodstock Illinois USA        
Sadly that is the norm. The two worst days to deal with students...the day after Haloween and Easter. The only time students are allowed to eat in my class is the day before Winter break when I give EVERYONE a candy cane.

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#646323 - Wed Aug 10 2011 02:38 AM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: wdstk]
bubbatom1 Offline
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Registered: Wed Jan 27 2010
Posts: 136
Loc: Rockhampton QLD Australia    
I am a teacher and I work for the Queensland Government at a State High School. New laws were legislated that tuckshops/canteens had to sell healthy food. I still haven't worked out how a pie with peas and sauce, potato wedges with sour cream, or a pizza is healthy, but apparently they are, because our tuckshop sells them.

All the food sold at our tuckshops is known as "green" food and no "red" food is allowed, unless it's a designated "red food" day. No lollies (as we call them) are allowed at any other time, but I know some teachers do ignore this.

"Red food" days are the worst days to deal with students! Talk about kids climbing the walls! They sure do on those days, it's bloody chaos smile

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#646330 - Wed Aug 10 2011 05:49 AM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: bubbatom1]
sue943 Online   content

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Cor, I don't go much on that! Tuck Shops sold sweets in my day, not that I often had the money to spend in it, that was the school when I was 11 upwards, the schools before that didn't have such luxuries.
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#646340 - Wed Aug 10 2011 08:03 AM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: sue943]
lesley153 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 725
Loc: Bedford England UK           
When I was at primary school in London, a very long time ago, I remember individually-wrapped boiled sweets being handed round regularly, but not why. Probably rewards.

When I was bigger, 11+, I destroyed my teeth with a daily Wagon Wheel from the school tuck-shop. (Have Wagon Wheels got smaller? I don't think I've got bigger.)

A few years ago, Jonathan's first school (and probably others) put a stop to anyone bringing anything edible for the children. I don't think it had anything to do with physical or dental health: I suspect that the new rules had more to do with allergies and potential litigation. Still a good decision, I think.
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#803804 - Thu Jun 21 2012 11:30 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: lesley153]
tiffanyram Offline
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Registered: Tue Jun 13 2006
Posts: 540
Loc: Jackson Tennessee USA 
I teach in a high school here in the States. I do occasionally take in some small candies from Mexico for my students to try. This only happens maybe once a semester and they only get one each. I do have a competition some semesters and the winners can choose to receive a candy bar (amongst other options). I do not, however, habitually reward students with candy. The examples I mentioned are rare occasions for me. I know some teachers that do give out candy on a regular basis.

Students aren't supposed to eat in the classrooms, but many of them bring candy from home and keep it in their purses or book bags. They took out the candy from the snack machines and replaced it with fruit snacks, baked chips, and crackers. They also took out regular sodas and put in all diet drinks. Some students sneak soft drinks in as well.
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#803962 - Fri Jun 22 2012 05:28 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: tiffanyram]
demurechicky Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 27 2008
Posts: 328
Loc: Leeds West Yorkshire UK       
My daughter is in her first year of 6th form, in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

A 'bag of sweets' is not part of the equipment at her school.

I don't see anything wrong with students being given the occasional treat at school, but if sweets were given on a daily basis then I would have something to say!

My daughter's Philosophy and Ethics teacher had a 'Geek of the Week' award, in which she gave the weekly winner an item of stationery. Everybody in the class of ten won the award, so there was no favouritism. This teacher also buys them cups of tea when they're doing revision classes after school, and she did give them 2 biscuits each to 'dunk'. I don't have a problem with this as we all need a 'sugar rush' occasionally, particularly when at school from 8am to 7pm prior to exams!

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#804008 - Sat Jun 23 2012 02:40 AM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: veronikkamarrz]
playmate1111 Offline
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Registered: Fri Jan 15 2010
Posts: 160
Loc: South Africa
The only thing we ever received were red stars and when you had 10 of them you got a silver star. 20 and you hit GOLD! The only time I can ever remember getting a sweet was when we had a dose of cod liver oil which was standard practice in South African schools.
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#805519 - Sat Jun 30 2012 06:36 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: playmate1111]
Bruyere Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18423
Loc: California USA
I hadn't seen this post until now, but I'm very sad to say that some teachers do indeed reward students for, well, fairly average behavior, with candy. I know this because I substitute teach in a large area and I've seen it. I think that with all the anti sugar stuff happening in the cafeteria and on the campus, some teachers find this is a way of getting through to kids.

Having said this, I met a lady who was teaching math to remedial groups and gave out a gummy bear, each, as a ritual to the kids coming to her if they worked hard throughout the hour. It was probably the most effective use of a gummy bear I've ever seen.

My daughter mentioned that the older students received candy if they attempted to solve a problem, not if they got it right. She entered school in the States after years in the French system at the age of sixteen.
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#805943 - Mon Jul 02 2012 04:29 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: Bruyere]
bloomsby Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 3717
Loc: Norwich England UK            
If any teacher had offered me a sweet for getting an answer(s) right at school I would have felt insulted and discreetly thrown the stuff away.

In my own schooldays being a pupil was 'all about' getting things right. It was as simple as that. We were being prepared for a harsher, more demanding, adult world.

Even later, when I got a few prizes in the form of books, publicly handed to me at Speech Day, I also felt there was something not quite right about it. I had something akin to an occupation (learning at school), and getting a prize struck me as rather like getting overtime rates for work done in regular hours. I suppose I could have tried politely to refuse the prize - obviously, well before the prizegiving ceremony - but it would have involved 'making a fuss', and my teachers and parents seemed to like seeing me get prizes.


Edited by bloomsby (Fri Nov 30 2012 06:32 PM)

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#952169 - Wed Nov 28 2012 12:18 PM Re: Teachers 'n' Candy [Re: bloomsby]
Jazmee27 Offline
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Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
I remember a star chart when I was in school, though I don’t remember much of anything else (presumably because I was one of the naughtier kids).

In later years, I got in-school suspension and detension on a weekly basis at times for everything from bad behavior to late assignments. (Never once was I held back a year, which may or may not have gotten my attention—but so nice to know the teachers cared [being facetious here… I was the kid who was always retaliating for stuff bullies were doing, and I was always the one caught because I couldn’t see when the teacher was coming, so I was always the only one caught being mean/bad]).

I seem to remember the high school cafeteria having vending machines, but I (a) didn’t have money, and (b) didn’t know anyone who would help me get anything. [Plus, I was often penalized from eating in the cafeteria as it was.]

As to sweets being handed out, the only time I remember that happening was when there was some sort of special occasion (Christmas or Valentine’s Day being the ones that were key in those days).
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