Test taking is a generally traumatic time in the lives of kids and teens, and it only seems to get worse the older you get. I mean, they still haven't figured out how to make SAT books suck less and most people are still wondering whether the SAT measures intelligence properly. But even in lower grades, students are more stressed out than ever, and their schools add to that stress by fostering a competitive environment. This UK school sent their students an inspirational letter before their exams instead.
They sent the heartwarming memo to all the students in Year 6 (ages 10-11), reminding them that tests don't define them, nor do they reveal anything negative about students. This note was sent before the SAT, which are different from SAT in the United States. It's a national curriculum test in England that is much like standardized state tests for us.
Basically what I'm saying is we're all going to relocate to England, retroactively enroll in middle school there and go on to live our very best lives. We'll grow up with better self esteem and British accents. What could possibly go wrong?
The note from Buckton Vale Primary School said:
Dear Year 6 pupils,
Next week you will sit your SATs tests for maths, reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation. We know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know:
The SATs test does not assess all of what makes each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you the way that we 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 or playing a musical instrument. They do not know that your friends can 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 help your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you are kind, trustworthy and thoughtful and every day you try to be your very best.
The levels you will get from this test will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. There are many ways of being smart. You are smart! So while you are preparing for the test and in the midst of it all, remember that there is no way to 'test' all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU!
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no educational at all."
Sleep, Rest, Believe!
Where the hell was that kind of support when we were all applying to college?
The note did incredibly well. It's been shared thousands of times on Facebook and parents are thrilled with the note, according to The Daily Mail. Parents from other schools have shared it with their children as well. UK mother Helen Foster told them, "I've shown this to my daughter who also is sitting SATs next week. It's a nice way to say how proud I am to have her as my daughter."
Read the full letter here.