Almost everyone I know is fairly pragmatic about NAPLAN.
Yes we all know it’s more to test the school than the individual but it’s easy to get just a little caught up and the tiniest bit stressed about how it will all go.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been impressing on my children (I have 3 doing NAPLAN this week) that it’s not important and that I won’t be worrying about their results.
But there was one thing I didn’t really think about adding … that my daughter’s teacher did.
The most beautiful, thoughtful, insightful note I have ever seen a teacher share with their class.
This letter brought a tear to my eye but more importantly it made me breathe out and realise that through it all, there is someone who cares about my child (almost) as much as I do.
Here’s what the letter to each child in the class said …
Tomorrow you will start NAPLAN tests (Tuesday: Language Conventions + Writing; Wednesday: Reading; Thursday: Numeracy). I know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know.
NAPLAN tests do 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 can speak another language, or that you love to sing or draw. They have not seen your natural talent for drama, dancing or playing a musical instrument. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them, that your laughter can brighten the darkest day. They do not know that you participate in sports, wonder about the future, or sometimes you help with your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you are kind, trustworthy, and thoughtful … and every day you try to be your very best.
The results you will get from these tests 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 in the midst of these tests, remember that there is no way to ‘test’ all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU!
So to my daughter’s teacher, I say THANK YOU.
I say you are UNIQUE and I say that NAPLAN also does not demonstrate just how incredible you are as our childrens’ teacher and that in knowing you, they are blessed.
If you or your child is worrying at all about NAPLAN or even exams in general, please share this note with them. Every child deserves to feel loved and to know that they are in their own way … AWESOME!