When Ben took the UK’s Standard Attainment Tests for 11-year-olds, he didn’t do as well as he had expected. Although he had prepared well, he still ended up failing.
His teacher, Ruth Clarkson, decided to write Ben a letter. Now, that letter is winning praise around the world.
Ben is now 12 years old and studies at the Lansbury Bridge School & Sports College in northern England. He has autism, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing his best and studying well.
Last year, Ben’s mom posted a photo on Twitter of a letter that her son received from his school teacher. Ben’s teacher, Mrs. Clarkson, wrote him the letter soon after he failed the SAT exam. But she didn’t criticize him at all. Instead, she described all of the things that Ben excels at.
Here it is:
I am writing you to congratulate you on your attitude and success in completing your end of key stage SATs.
Gil, Lynn, Angela, Steph and Anne have worked so well with you this year and you have made some fabulous progress.
I have written to you and your parents to tell you the results of the tests.
A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities. They are important and you have done so well, but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.
Other talents you have that these tests do not measure include
- Your artistic talents
- Your ability to work in a team
- Your growing independence
- Your kindness
- Your ability to express your opinion
- Your abilities in sports
- Your Your ability to make and keep friends
- Your ability to discuss and evaluate your own progress
- Your design and building talents
- Your musical ability
We are so pleased that all of these different talents and abilities make you the special person you are and these are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely, bright young man.
Well done Ben, we are very proud of you.
What a nice message! I was touched by Mrs. Clarkson’s fine letter. Since Ben’s mom, Gail Twist, tweeted the letter, it’s reached thousands of people. Over 9,000 people have liked the picture on Twitter, and it’s been retweeted nearly 5,000 times. So how does Ben feel about the letter?
Well, of course, he’s very happy.
“Wow. Do they really think that about me? I feel amazing,” Ben said after his mom read him the letter, according to Buzzfeed.
We can all learn from this letter. No test can define any one of us — because we all have so many qualities that no standardized can measure. Share if you agree!
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