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WoW: Wunderkind

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

What is Wunderkind?

Wunderkind is an early 1870s German word combination of the words wunder (wonder) and kind (child). A wunderkind is a child prodigy. A wunderkind also is “one who succeeds in a competitive or highly difficult field or profession at an early age” according to Merriam-Webster.

While Wunderkind’s literal definition mentions success at a young age, there is no age restriction or requirement for it. In our context, while we do want to recognize and encourage those young child prodigies, we really want to draw attention to the behaviors and character traits of a wunderkind so that we too can succeed in our respective fields at a highly competitive level. When thinking of someone who succeeds in a highly competitive field, some behaviors and traits that come to mind are hardworking, detail-oriented, creative thinker, an improviser, committed, determined, confident, and disciplined. This list truly could go on and on. To be considered a wunderkind in our context it's easy to see how crucial developing these traits and behaviors are in order for us to succeed.

Today’s Takeaway:

The true definition of a wunderkind is someone who succeeds in a highly competitive field or profession from a young age. While everyone has the potential to be a wunderkind we do recognize not everyone truly reaches that literal level. In our context, however, we place importance on working to provide everyone the opportunity to be successful and do what we can to help them get there. In order to achieve these levels of success we have to work hard, stay determined, be confident in our abilities and stay disciplined in our craft. Focus on those traits and behaviors and you will surely reach high levels of success. Always remember, even small victories add up to major success overtime!


Parting Challenge:

Take a few moments this week to reflect on the successes you have had in life, both big and small, and appreciate the character traits that helped you achieve that success. In the classroom, find ways you can encourage your students to work hard and achieve their own levels of success in all that they do and be a key cog in the development of future wunderkinds!


Continuing the Conversation: Here are some questions to ponder this week and reflect upon.

  • What are some successes in your life you need to celebrate?

  • Who in your life has had recent success that you need to celebrate with? Go do it!

  • Do you have wunderkinds in your classroom? What trait, behavior, or skill do you recognize in them showing their wunderkind potential?

  • What can you do to encourage your wunderkind students and assist in developing their skills to succeed?

  • Who are some examples of wunderkinds in your own life or people who are succeeding in a highly competitive field? What are they doing to get ahead?

Like us on Facebook or Instagram, and checkout our Pinterest board for some more great ideas and this week’s word. Share this post with a friend and don't forget to check out our other Words of the Week.

The Auto-B-Good 9-Virtues SEL program features 63 award-winning animated lessons that help students develop good character and become rising stars. To learn more about this great resource, visit us at

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