Thankful for WONDER

You would think Christmas had been moved to November 17th this year at Quincy Elementary.

Our fifth-grade students, teachers, parents (and principal) anticipated Friday, November 17, 2017 like it was Christmas morning. Like so many around the world, we have all fallen in love with the book Wonder and we couldn’t wait to see the movie.

Students told us they were nervous that the movie would not live up to the images they created in their minds as they read the book. They were so excited to see what in the movie aligned with the book and what did not. They were thrilled to have the lessons they learned by reading Wonder fill up the big screen at the movie theater.

We had a private viewing of the movie, so Quincy students, parents, and staff were the only ones in the theater. The students all said, “EWWWW!” during the kissing scenes, laughed together, cheered on Auggie and friends during the fight, and cried together. The movie was amazing and filled each student and adult in the theater with the same gifts as the book.

We were sad. We were worried. We were mad. We were nervous. We were happy. We were inspired. And then, at the end, we were so proud and overjoyed. Even the students who didn’t cry told us that they had “that weird feeling” in their throats.

Oh, R. J. Palacio, thank you so much for those big beautiful feelings.

Thank you so much for teaching our students how to support each other.

Thank you for teaching us to be careful to not leave others behind.

Thank you for teaching us to embrace our differences and to love each other because of them, not in spite of them.

Thank you for teaching us that not only should we be kind, but we should be “kinder than is necessary”.

Thank you for showing us how to be empathetic to others, and to see that we are all wonders.

Thank you for teaching us that even though bad things happen, our reactions don’t have to ever be mean or spiteful. Wonder shows us that even when those bad things are happening around us, the good outweighs the bad.

Wonder the movie was WONDERful–everything we hoped it would be and more–and we will never forget being able to experience it together.

This post was co-written by Peggy Greshaw (@MrsG5thgrade), the amazing Quincy fifth-grade teacher who brought Wonder to Quincy Elementary.

Want to learn more about the impact of Wonder? Check out this article from The Washington Post.

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