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Abbott Elementary Directors Reward The Kids With Stickers For Completing Scenes

"Abbott Elementary" continues to shine as a beacon of hope in the current television landscape. Created by Quinta Brunson, the ABC sitcom focuses on the daily lives and struggles of the students and teachers at an underfunded school. A love letter to the city and education workers of Philadelphia, the comedy has become a favorite of teachers worldwide, who have praised the series for its relatability, empathy, and honesty when it comes to portraying the educational workforce. While speaking with The Seattle Times, K-8 teacher Liz Ruiz-Puyana discussed how Brunson's Emmy-winning series is equally insightful and relatable. "Right out the gate, I think 'Abbott Elementary' gets the tone of what it's like and the feeling of what it's like to be a teacher pretty right," said Ruiz-Puyana before discussing how it can be emotional to see certain situations unfold on screen.

Apart from being a critical darling and a fan-favorite of teachers across the United States, "Abbott Elementary" has been endlessly praised for being a force of goodwill and positivity both on and off the screen. Speaking with NPR, Brunson revealed that the series donated a portion of its marketing budget to purchase supplies for underfunded teachers. In addition to donating supplies, the series also partnered with children's publisher Scholastic for free book fairs at underfunded schools (via Variety). This positive mindset continues on the show's sets as well, where directors have had to adapt their methods to work with young actors. To keep the enthusiasm alive for when cameras are rolling, the directors of "Abbott Elementary" have started dishing out stickers to keep their child stars engaged. 

Stickers keep the young actors engaged

In an interview with Vice, executive producer and director Randall Einhorn discussed the several changes in filming the series. Many viewers might wonder how the series manages to film intricate sequences with dozens of child actors. "Abbott Elementary" is unique in the sense that it (mostly) takes place in a school, which needs to be populated with younger actors, who are notoriously difficult to work with. Luckily, Einhorn and his team of assistant directors have found a solid way to encourage the students.

"All of our assistant directors are really good at managing the kids and making sure it doesn't feel like they're being disciplined," Einhorn said. "We give them goals, like, 'If we do this scene for 15 minutes, you guys are gonna get a sticker!' Or, 'We're gonna go break for lunch, so we just need to get through this!'" These methods are no different than how teachers help encourage students to get their tasks done, especially when it comes to stickers.

Several of the teachers at Abbott have utilized these very methods on the screen to get children on track. "Abbott Elementary" itself is so empathetic towards teachers and students; it's great to see that the crew bringing the show to life carry the same kindness over to the young cast. Einhorn went on to discuss how Brunson and the creative team are invested in the children and have formed a relationship or bond with them. "We never reprimand, we're never disciplinary here. If one kid's acting up, we'll attend to it, but we need to keep it fun."