While educators around the world struggle to find effective ways to motivate their students, one set of teachers from a school in Great Britain seem to have succeeded in doing just that for their fifth graders.
An inspirational letter sent by the teachers to the students ahead of their exams has been lauded and praised by parents who send their kids to the Buckton Vale Primary School in Cheshire, UK.
And there’s good reason for all the praise, as the letter encouraged the students, ages 10 and 11, telling them that the results of their upcoming SATs would not determine what makes them “special and unique.”
The touching and thoughtful letter was signed by the Deputy Dean of the school, Mrs Brown, along with two other teachers and has received more than 50,000 Facebook shares already.
On top of all the social media love, hundreds of parents have expressed their delight with the letter, calling it “heartwarming.”
On happy parent, Helen Foster said, “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.
At the same time, another parent, Donna Owen, said, “I have 11-year-old twins who sit their SATs next week, they go to a different school but your letter was shared by a group of friends, I sat and read it with them with a tear because it’s so true, would like to wish everyone good luck for next week and thank you for sharing this letter.”
While the letter starts well, with the words “you are smart,” it ends with a meaningful quote by Aristotle, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
Here are the words of the inspirational letter in full.
YOU ARE SMART
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 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 in 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 that every day you try to be your very best.
The levels you will yet 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 education at all.
[Image credit: pinkaardvark.co.uk]