Teacher writes emotional letter to students ahead of state testing

School set to start Florida Standards Assessment test


DELAND, Fla. – A Florida teacher has reportedly touched the hearts of students and parents with a letter of encouragement before the children begin state testing.

WSB says Rhonda Sylvia, a teacher at Blue Lake Elementary in Deland, wrote the letter to the students, and assigned them to read it to their parents prior to the start of the Florida Standards Assessments test.

In the letter, Sylvia reminded the students that the test results do not evaluate their worth.

"I know how hard you worked, but there is something important that you must know," the letter begins. "The FSA 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 I do, and certainly not the way your families do."

The letter goes on to advocate what makes a person smart, and that testing is not the final say.

They do not know that some of you speak two languages, or that you love to sing or paint a picture. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them, that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day, or that your face turns red when you feel shy. They have not heard you tell differences between a King Cobra and a Rattler. They do not know that you participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that despite dealing with bad circumstances, you still come to school with a smile. They do not know that you can tell a great story or that you really love spending time (baking, hunting, mudding, fishing, shopping...) with special family members and friends. They do not know that you can be very trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try every day to be your very best. The scores 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! You are enough! You are the light that brightens my day! So while you are preparing for this test and while you are in the midst of it all, remember that there is no way to "test" all the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU!