Teacher Writes Letter To Students To Prepare Them For Test

Third grade is a tough transitional year for elementary students, especially as they begin taking standardized tests. Yet, one teacher’s letter to her kids is bringing everyone to tears.


Nervous About Tests

It was almost test time for third grader Rylan Fallis, a student at Pleasant Crossing Elementary School in Whiteland, Indiana. Like most of his classmates, he was nervous. There’s a lot of pressure placed upon students to perform well on tests, but some kids just don’t test well and the stress can be overwhelming.

first day of school Rylan

Letter Supports Students

Before Rylan was to take his first standardized test at school, he received a letter from his teacher that reassured him and his classmates that these tests do not provide the whole picture of how amazing each of the kids really are.

school photo Rylan

Heartfelt Words

The letter moved Rylan to tears. When he told his mom Abby he had cried at school, this caring and concerned mom was worried at first.

mom and kids

The Letter

Then Rylan showed her the letter.

“Dearest Students,

Next week you will take your ISTEP test for math and reading, and two weeks after that you will take your IREAD test. I know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know.

The ISTEP and IREAD tests do not assess all of what makes you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you like 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 draw. They have not seen your natural talent for dancing. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them, that your laughter can brighten the darkest day, or that your face turns red when you feel shy. They do not know that you participate in sports, wonder about the future, or sometimes you help with your little brother or little sister after school. They do not know that you are kind, trustworthy, and thoughtful. and every day you try your very best.

The scores you will get from these tests will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. These tests do not define you. There are many ways of being smart. YOU are smart! You are enough! You are the light that brightens my day and the reason I am happy to come to work each day. So, in the midst of all of these tests, remember that there is no way to ‘test’ all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU.

All I ask is that you do your personal best and do not give up. You have been working for this since Kindergarten and are ready! I believe in you!”

Teachers As Influencers

Abby was also moved to tears, grateful for such a kind, compassionate and caring teacher in her son’s life, one who would not just help him navigate the intimidating tests, but help him get through life spent at school as a nine-year-old boy.


Letter Impacts Mom

Abby posted a picture of the letter on Instagram and explained:

“Rylan got in the car today and told me that he was embarrassed because he cried at school. I asked him what upset him, and he told me he cried, because he was happy about a letter his teacher gave his class before they take the ISTEP. Needless to say, when I read it, I cried, too. We need not just more teachers like her, but also more people like her in this world.”

the letter


One Letter, One Huge Impact

Abby’s post has been shared around the world, even by famous celebrities like Ashton Kutcher. Who knew that one heartful, supportive letter from a teacher to her students would have such a huge impact in and out of the classroom.