Teacher sends touching letter to students before standardized testing, parent says

A parent of a Blue Lake Elementary School student sent an email to WFTV saying how Rhonda Sylvia’s letter brought her to tears.

In the email, Aleshia Crimmons wrote, “I commend her for everything she has done with these kids this year.”

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Crimmons attached a picture of the letter in her email.

In the letter, which Sylvia assigned her to students to read to their parents, students were reminded that that the test doesn’t evaluate their worth.

The letter reads as follows:

My dearest students,
This week you will take your Florida State assessment (FSA) for reading and math. I know how hard you worked, but there is something important that you must know.

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.

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!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please keep all kids in the state of Florida in your thoughts tomorrow. Thank you.

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