One of the hardest things that parents need to do when it comes to taking care of their child is taking care of one with learning difficulties.
It gets especially hard for parents and the kid itself because the kid would struggle in high pressure social environments couple with a slow learning progress.
Gail Twist was surprised when her son, 11-year-old Ben came home with a letter from his teacher after he failed his school exam. She expected the letter to say how Ben must work harder to improve his grades. It did not.
The teaching staff at Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College, in St. Helen’s, Merseyside instead gave Ben a boost of confidence. Despite the fact that he failed his SATs, his teacher recognized that what he needed was support and encouragement, not condemnation.
His teacher, Mrs. Clarkson had sent him home with a letter that was meant to show him what an incredible student he was, and she was very honest about it.
The letter reads:
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.”
Upon reading the letter, Gail found herself tearing up.
Mrs. Clarkson’s letter had listed the things Ben was good at, things that a normal school test can’t measure.
“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 ability to express your opinion
-Your abilities in sports
-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.
The world needs more teachers like Mrs. Clarkson! The phrase ‘judging a fish on its ability to climb a tree is as pointless as judging a monkey on its ability to swim in deep waters’ holds true in education. Let’s hope that Ben and other kids out there would take this as an encouragement to never give up.