We read Wonder as a read aloud book. I used it as a mentor text and tied it to many of my lessons in reading and personal character building (topics of my previous posts.) When we finished, I had them write their own precepts and created a board in our classroom filled with their words. So after Thanksgiving, I saw on Twitter that R.J. Palacio had put on her website an opportunity for people to send her a postcard with their own precepts with the possibility of their own precept to be published. So I thought, why not have my whole class send in their own?
Needless to say, two months later, one of my students’ precepts was chosen! His precept is, “Superheroes are made, but heroes are born!” I could not have chosen a student from my class who need this recognition more that the one who R.J. Palacio chose! He struggles in all areas of school, had a horrible year last year with his peers and behavior but has worked really hard this year to be a better person all around. I am so proud of who he is becoming. I am so thrilled that the words of the world I brought to him are not only carrying meaning but that he is truly trying to live up to those words!
How powerful for him to get his writing/thoughts shared with the world when he has felt that school has not been a good experience. He got a standing ovation from our class when he finished reading his letter, just like Auggie said everyone deserves. Other teachers made a big deal, my principal called his parents, took his picture and put it on our website. The smile on his face when he was done reading the letter was absolutely priceless!
If there is only one thing I take away from this year, I know that I have touched the life of a boy. This is why I teach! Academics aside, I am here for each and everyone of my students! I am here to love them, support them and give their voice a purpose! I teach because it is what I love to do and it is where my genius is shared every day! I hope that my students walk away every day with their head a little higher and with the knowledge that they are important, loved and have something to contribute to the world that is just waiting for it!