As a teacher, you know just how important it is to create a culture of kindness within your classroom. The kindness and empathy that blossoms within your classroom often reverberates beyond school and into the rest of the world, just as it did for Auggie and his classmates in the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

    Entering a new year, you and your students have the perfect excuse to revisit—or visit for the first time—Auggie’s heartwarming story. It’s a great teaching tool for social-emotional learning, and through reading, students will be inspired to reflect on their relationships with friends and classmates and resolve to be even kinder in the new year.

    By committing to a few Wonder-inspired resolutions, students will ring in the new year with kindness, empathy, and joy! Here are 5 resolutions for your students to consider for the new year:

    1.     Choose kindness.

    When your students choose kindness above all else, the empathy and joy that resonates will have a profound effect in your classroom. By choosing kindness students will learn about acceptance, peer pressure, and courage, and the roles they play in the relationships they’ve formed with others.

    2.     Celebrate kindness.

    It’s not enough to be kind, you also have to celebrate it. By resolving to celebrate kindness this new year, your students will see just how important it is to acknowledge the kindness of others and how a simple acknowledgement motivates others to be kind too.

    3.     Take kindness to the next level.

    Kindness doesn’t plateau—it’s something that can always be taken to the next level. This year, encourage students to reflect on their level of kindness and what they can do to take it up a notch.

    4.     Be a friend.

    Being kind to one another is just the beginning. True kindness means being a great friend, no matter your differences.

    5.     Be an “upstander.”

    To prevent bullying and promote kindness, students have to embrace an active role. This new year, encourage students to become “upstanders” and discover more ways to encourage kindness and prevent bullying in the classroom and beyond.

    Wonder is a great story to inspire students to be kind this new year, and these resolutions are just the beginning. Through reading and reflection, students are bound to come up with even more Wonder-inspired resolutions for the new year! Need more copies of Wonder in your classroom? You can buy the book here