The One With the Letter Before Testing


This week the kids are testing…again. Number 1 opted out, but Number 2 will be taking ANOTHER round of tests. And he is really not looking forward to it. I can’t say I blame him. It is mid-April and this is already Round 3 of testing. I had offered to opt him out of testing too, but at the time he was fine with taking all the tests. Now, he is a bit stressed and really not wanting to test AGAIN! I think he’s just one with them…already, and it’s only April!

Last year, in North Carolina, we were asked to write our children a letter prior to the end of year test. I think this was meant to encourage them to do their best and not stress out. I’m not sure how effective all of these letters were; if test scores were higher or if less panic attacks were had during testing. Maybe someone should have written a letter to the teachers too???

Anyway, as Number 2 prepares to go in for another round of tests, I thought I would dig out the letter I gave him last year and offer it again this year.  Here is a copy of the letter.

Dear Number 2,

     You know you are going to pass these tests because you are AWESOME! I think they want us to write you these notes to remind you to take your time, try your best, check over your work, find evidence in the text, and all of those other test taking tips they tell you over and over again.

I have a different message for you though, not that you shouldn’t try your best and do all of that other stuff, but it doesn’t really matter what you score on this test. What I want you to remember is this: There are far more important things in life than this test. Be a good friend. Be kind. Be generous. Be thoughtful. Be compassionate. Be brave.  Have a good sense of humor. Love. All of these things matter more than how you do on a test in fourth grade.

Please know that no matter what, I love you and I am so proud of who you are.

Now…kick those tests butts!!!




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3 Comments on “The One With the Letter Before Testing

  1. Very Nice letter! I tell you what though–it only gets worse when they are in High School.. There is so much pressure on kids these days to get a 27 on higher on the ACT! There some kids including mine, where that was impossible! Your note expressed a lot of what I’ve told my children over the years! I have one in college now who did not get a 27 or higher on her ACT…but is currently getting all A’s in her second semester and applying for nursing school in the fall. Her ACT proved nothing about her study skills or capability to learn in a college setting. I can’t stand standardized testing!

    • Yikes Chris! I can’t even think of ACT’s and all that yet! I’m sure the opposite scenario can also be true too. Where someone scores quite high on the ACT and doesn’t perform well in courses.

  2. I love this idea of writing a letter! I will have to pass this along to my other teacher friends!!