You’re More Than a Test Score: A Letter to My Students

Dear Students,

In a few weeks, you’ll be taking the TCAP. The assessment at the end of the year; the big test. I’ve tried to prepare you. We’ve done months of test-taking practice and discussed study skills. We’ve learned that our #2 pencils need to be sharp and our bubbles need to be colored in dark. You’ve worked on practice tests, conventions, and reading comprehension skills. You’ve all worked so hard this year, and this test offers a glimpse of everything you’ve learned in my classroom. 

The people scoring your test can see many different things. They can see how well you comprehend fictional and informational text.  They can see how well you can interpret poetry, write a paragraph, use reasoning, and apply content knowledge.  

Here’s what they can’t see.

They can’t see all the ways you help your friends. When they struggle, and you say, “Here, I’ll help you.” When you are warm and friendly to the new kid struggling to make friends. When you offer your last and favorite pencil to the unprepared student beside you. When you offer a dollar to the one who forgot money for concessions. And you didn’t have to, but you did.
 
They can’t see your eyes light up when you discover a brilliant and unexpected plot twist in a novel. They haven’t seen you express empathy for the main character. They can’t see your love for reading expand and bloom into something beautiful beyond words.
 

They can’t see you as a big brother taking care of his baby sister. Helping his mom with the baby when she has to work late. They can’t see you praying for your grandmother and grieving a loss that truly hurts. Reading to your little brother at night. Missing your mom when you haven’t seen her in several months. Comforting your best friend after a hard day.

You are so much more than a test score.

You’re brave like Despereaux Tilling. Kind like the Princess Pea.

Clever like Carla Davis. Resilient like Bradley Chalkers.

Passionate like Ivan. Gentle like Ruby.

And yet you’re the most perfect kind of you I’ve ever seen.

Love, Mrs. Longmire

PS: You’re going to do great!

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