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School teacher uses memes, not a red pen, to grade student papers

LEYDEN TOWNSHIP, Ill. -- An Illinois high school teacher's unconventional approach to grading has made her an internet sensation.

Ainee Fatima, East Leyden High School's newest English teacher, has been at her position less than 12 weeks. But she has already cracked the secret to getting through to her students.

The secret: Swapping her red pen for meme stickers.

"When we saw the stickers, we all started laughing because we didn't expect it,” Adriana Castillo, a senior, told WGN-TV. "I really liked it because she didn't just give me a good grade but something I felt we really bonded over.”

Fatima said the idea came from her own experience as a student when she would stuff her own marked up papers in her book bag. She wanted her students to not just see their mistakes, like she did, but be motivated enough to fix them.

"It's about meeting the students at their level,” she said. “You connect with them in a way they understand and that's more important than just giving them the answers or having them stuff their papers in a bag and never looking at their exams again.”

Her grading method has been such a hit that pictures of the meme stickers have gone viral. After dozens of requests, Fatima shared the template for other teachers who want to give the meme stickers a try. You can view one of the templates HERE.