Recently I found the following letter on-line, and though the details are different, it expresses an important truth: no test, no Guild audition, no piano contest, no interview has the ability to define the wonderful qualities that you possess.
By setting the goal of playing more than one or two piano pieces, and working toward that, you have arrived at today’s audition. Hopefully, you will remember all the things you’ve practiced and we’ve talked about, but if you don’t, it is OK.
Days like today inspire me to teach better next year. And believe me, I still have more to learn about teaching each one of you. (Lucky for you, as I vowed to quit teaching piano when I thought I didn’t have more to learn.)
I’m so proud of each of you, and am blessed and humbled to be a part of shaping the beautiful, wonderful young men and women you are becoming.
With a full heart, your piano teacher—
My Dearest Students,
Next week you will take your State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness exam for Math and Reading. I know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know:
The STAAR test (Your Guild audition) 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 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 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 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 the test and in the midst of it all, remember that there is no way to “test” all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU!
(This letter was written by Mrs. Brown, an elementary teacher in Texas)