Every now and then a book comes along that transcends age and gender through a compelling story and uplifting message. The best-selling book and new major motion picture Wonder has had that impact on our learning community. Over the past few months through class assignments and discussions, students throughout BFA Fairfax Elementary/Middle School have made connections with the important themes of kindness, bullying, responsibility, overcoming challenges, and friendship.
As educators, we constantly teach and practice with our students the importance of treating all members of our learning community with respect. However, the level of student engagement through Wonder has generated additional and authentic conversations and connections.
For example, each of our first graders identified a way in which they could practice kindness towards others. Additionally, this past Friday, our fourth-grade students led our monthly All School Morning Meeting, during which they shared a slideshow of our students practicing acts of kindness throughout the school. Finally, the entire Middle School will be attending a viewing of Wonder this Friday as a school-wide outing.
I hope that all schools take the time to read and use Wonder as a vehicle to generate important conversations. I have had the opportunity to witness the positive impact of this story on students and the motivational message for all of us to choose kindness.
Thomas Walsh is the Principal of BFA Fairfax Elementary Middle School and is a regular contributor to the FWSU Blog. You can follow him on Twitter @educatamount