We all had a very emotional afternoon yesterday. Sometimes in your life you experience things that you know are special and a little out of the ordinary. The bond our class had was one of these times – they came together in a way that teachers usually only hope for, and cared for each other with the truest empathy. They have made my heart smile all year, and I will never, ever forget that group – as I tried to remind them all yesterday I am still here! And forever will I be here for them. They were all such a gift to me – thank you for sharing your most precious gifts – your children – with me this year.
We finished Wonder yesterday – below I have copied part of the ending speech given by his teacher in the book. I could not have wrote truer words myself.
“When you reflect on this past year, I want you all to look at where you are now and where you’ve been. You’ve all gotten a little taller, a little stronger, a littler smarter, I hope. But the best way to measure how much you’ve grown isn’t by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or by your grades – though those things are important, to be sure. It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to spend your days, and whom you have touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success. And remember, “kinder than is necessary,” Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. Why I love that line, that concept, is that it reminds me that we carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness. Such a simple thing, kindness. Such a simple thing. A nice word of encouragement given when needed. An act of friendship. A passing smile. Children, what I want to impart to you today is an understanding of the value of that simple thing called kindness. Take away that the sure knowledge that, in the future you make for yourselves, anything is possible. Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
Wonder by R.J. Palacio