As any parent or teacher knows, the most stressful time of the year is whenever a standardized test is coming up. Since much of a school’s budget depends on the results of these tests, faculty members will often emphasize their importance and push their students to study hard.
And it doesn’t end when they get home—parents, wanting their kids to get the highest marks, can be tough as well.
It’s all well-intentioned, but it can also leave kids stressed out, feeling that their self-worth is all on one test in a subject that’s not even their strong suit.
But what if it didn’t have to be that way?
One letter from a school to concerned parents has been going viral since it was shared on Reddit. Reportedly from a school principal in Singapore, the letter concerns some upcoming, major exams—but reminds parents that if their child doesn’t do well, it’s not the end of the world.
The note points out that not everyone is cut out for exams, but that doesn’t mean they’re not smart—they’re just maybe suited for other talents:
Please do remember, amongst the students who will be sitting for the exams there is an artist, who doesn’t need to understand Math.
There is an entrepreneur, who doesn’t care about History or English literature.
There is a musician, whose Chemistry marks won’t matter.
There’s an athlete, whose physical fitness is more important than Physics.
The letter says that while the tests are still important, and its great if they get good marks, but not to hold it against your children if they don’t.
“Tell them it’s OK, it’s just an exam!” the principal writes. “Tell them, no matter what they score, you love them and will not judge them.”
“One exam or a low mark won’t take away their dreams and talent. And please, do not think that doctors and engineers are the only happy people in the world.”
People seem to agree with the letter’s inspiring message. The photo has gone viral, with nearly 14,000 upvotes on Reddit.
Our education system is still tied to these systems of standardized testing, but a letter like this is still a nice reminder that children are individuals cut from different cloth, and there’s not a single test that can accurately gauge everyone’s intelligence.
Having a kid who’s great at music and terrible at math might seem troubling now, but everything will work out in the long-term.