Mr. Browne is probably one of those teachers that people remember forever. English class is awesome, of course, but at the root of studying great literature is learning what it is to be human. Mr. Browne has totally tapped into this fact. Check it out:
"Who we are," he said, underlining each word as he said it. "Who we are! Us! Right? What kind of people are we? What kind of person are you? Isn't that the most important thing of all? Isn't that the kind of question we should be asking ourselves all the time? What kind of person am I?" (1.Choose Kind.22)
Mr. Browne also introduces the stunning idea that learning can continue beyond the walls of school, telling the kids they'll be sending him a postcard over the summer with one of their own personal precepts written on it. Needless to say, his students are skeptical that anyone actually chooses to do this:
"People really do that?" said one girl whose name I didn't know.
"Oh yeah!" he answered, "people really do that. I've had students send me new precepts years after they've graduated from this school, actually. It's pretty amazing." (1.Choose Kind.32-33)
The thing about Mr. Browne's precepts is that they are invitations for his students to think critically about the world and their place in it, which is a pretty fitting project for both Auggie and his classmates as they figure out how to get along. Cool, right?
We wish you many Mr. Browne-type teachers over your school years.