When Abby Martin saw her son burst into tears after reading a letter from school, she had to know why. Here is the letter her son showed her:
“Rylan got in the car today and told me he was embarrassed because he cried at school. I asked him what upset him, and he told me he cried because he was happy about a letter his teacher gave his class before they take ISTEP. Needless to say, when I read it, I cried too. We need not just more teachers like her, but also more people like her in this world. ‘These tests do not define you. There are many ways of being smart. YOU are smart! YOU are enough! You are the light that brightens my day and the reason I am happy to come to work each day. So, in the midst of all these tests, remember that there is no way to “test” all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU.'”
Next week you will take your ISTEP test for math and reading, and two weeks after that you will take your IREAD test. I know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know.
The ISTEP and IREAD tests do not assess all of what makes you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you like I do, and certainly not the way your families do.
They do not know that some of you speak two languages, or that you love to sing or draw. They have not seen your natural talent for dancing. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them, that your laughter can brighten the darkest day, or that your face turns red when you feel shy. They do not know that you participate in sports, wonder about the future, or sometimes you help with your little brother or little sister after school. They do not know that you are kind, trustworthy, and thoughtful.. and every day you try your very best.
The scores you will get from these tests will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. These tests do not define you. There are many ways of being smart. YOU are smart! You are enough! You are the light that brightens my day and the reason I am happy to come to work each day. So, in the midst of all of these tests, remember that there is no way to ‘test’ all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU.
All I ask is that you do your personal best and do not give up. You have been working for this since Kindergarten and are ready! I believe in you!”
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