You are a wonder. You are.
Think about it. You are here for a purpose.
Each one of our students at Winans Elementary are truly wonders. You see, obviously, but now you know I my blog is probably inspired by the recent hit movie, "Wonder" which was first the amazing book, "Wonder" by R. J. Palacio.
Our teacher book club at Winans just got done finishing it and discussing it and it truly hit home to us as educators, but also to many of us as parents. You see, all of us think our children are wonders, and as we should! They are! Each of our children are unique human beings with traits to teach us something and yes, even test us at times. But that is the beauty of it all. Like the parents in the story, we are protective, yet not trying to shelter are children too much. It is a fine balance to teach our children about this world, be their advocate, and yet give them the tools to also be their own advocate.
At our school we are really trying to empower students to take ownership over their own learning, academic and social and emotional learning.
Academically, we are teaching students to choose books they are interested in and are at their "just right level"- not too easy and not too hard. We are teaching strategies writers use, like rereading their writing to make sure it makes sense. We are not just having students practice math but think of all the ways to solve a problem.
With social and emotional learning we are teaching our students strategies to know what "zone" they are in - red, yellow, green, or blue and identify their feelings. We have calming spaces in our classrooms now, so or students can regulate and know when they need to take a break, regroup, play with their favorite fidget tool if they need to, and then return to the class. We are teaching them Kelso's choices that if you are in conflict with another friend you may use your words and tell them to stop, walk away, cool down, and or get an adult for help.
In our student leadership groups we are teaching our students that their ideas matter and at the young age of 6, 7, and 8 they can be a leader, make a difference by being an upstander on the playground, a good friend to others, create a game room, and build a buddy program.
These are just a few examples we are doing here at school and think of all you are doing at home to teach your child. You are a wonder. You are.
It is not easy. Being a parent is hard and we just have to hope we are making the right choices most of the time.
One thing is for certain, if we know we are doing the best we can and keep learning and growing, they will, too.
Take some time during this holiday season to slow down and see the wonder around you, see your child, the wonder, and see yourself as a wonder.
Like the main character Auggie Pullman stated, " Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world. "