A third-grade teacher in North Carolina has garnered international attention for charging her students rental fees for their desks and chairs, while making the kids pay fines for bad behavior.
The classroom economy under teacher Shelby Lattimore is receiving praise for teaching kids financial literacy and by providing students with ways to earn a theoretical income for working classroom jobs.
Students can earn “Miss Lattimore Bucks” for different responsibilities around the school.
What started as a “motivator to get them to come to class and just build attendance” turned into children taking jobs such as line leader, door holder, and teacher’s assistant.
“We have a cleanup crew of four students at the end of the day,” Lattimore told WSOC-TV.
The children earn fictional incomes but also have to dish out their hard-earned money for expenses.
“Miss Lattimore is inflating your rent,” the teacher told her students in front of local outlet WCNC. The announcement was met with groans and “oh, come on!” from students.
The teacher charges $7 per month in rent for desks and chairs and applies fines for bad behavior such as talking in class or late homework.
The kids are encouraged to think long-term with their earnings and can spend the money on a number of benefits.
Introducing Ms.Lattimore Bucks (SN: I’ve always wanted money with my face on it) #money #teacher #rewards
Candy costs $2, while $3 buys students a homework pass. Lunch with a friend has a price tag of $5, and lunch with the teacher costs $7. The holy grail for students is allegedly a “be the teacher” pass, with which students become the teacher “from the beginning of the day to the end of the day.”
The latter comes with a price tag of $30.
“I really see a lot of adults saying they wish they would have learned this before it’s actually real life and there are consequences in real life,” Lattimore said.
One student called the program “a life lesson” in how money works, as local cameras captured looks of shock and horror on the children’s faces as they were forced to give up their hard-earned cash for classroom expenses.
Lattimore also gave racial remarks to a local outlet, stating that a lot of her “students of color” have seen their parents “living check to check,” which has caused them to “see the money management of not thinking long-term.”
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