More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
In Wonder Of Wonder- Putting A Face To Bully Issues
My students need a class set of the wonderous book "Wonder" by RJ Palacio and one copy of the audio CD of that same book to kick off a unit aimed at ending bullying.
"Kinder than is necessary. Because it's not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed." On my worst days as a teacher, it's not the curriculum that has me down. It's hearing the way in which students can speak to one another. Bullying is learned behavior that needs to be stopped.
My elementary school comes with a wealth of strengths and challenges.
Our 500+ students come with a great economic need, over 85% of our students are considered low income. Furthermore, just under half of our students are considered limited-English-proficient. Despite these stacked statistics, our school is making progress. Our standardized test scores have been on an upward trend in recent years.
Even greater though are the day-to-day stories of these future leaders of tomorrow. I work with dedicated students who want to be the first generation in their family to attend college. I work with students who checkout books to teach their siblings how to read. I work with students who save pennies to buy books. These admirable qualities only make my heart fall harder each time I witness them use cross words, put another student down, or make a cruel joke. In addition to preparing our students for the world of academia, we need to prepare them to be good citizens as well.
As soon as I started the book Wonder, I wanted to run out and buy 100 copies for our school library. I laughed, I cried, I grew as I read the book, and I knew my students would too. One of C.S. Lewis' quotes stuck with me as I read: "We read to know we are not alone." Before we say goodbye to our fifth grade students each year, I want to remind them that they are not alone.
Bullying has become a sad epidemic in our schools today. Wonder is a beautifully written story that deals directly with the students' struggles with differences and acceptance, topics of which every kid can relate to. I see my students making real life connections with each of the characters in the book, especially the main character Auggie. Auggie's story deals with weighty topics such as appearance and the judgments we make as a society based on appearance. By collaborating with our fifth grade teachers, I plan to use the Wonder novels and audio CD to breathe new life into our anti-bullying curriculum through a novel study.
The set of books and audio CD can travel to each of our fifth grade classes each year, thus impacting thousands of students over the years.
The book lends itself so well to the serious conversations we need to have with our students about empathy and human character. This novel study can empower our students to be the change agents in our battle against bullying. Wonder is the kind of book that will make students into lifelong readers and leaders.
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