Mrs. Clarkson is a teacher. And she’s a good teacher. She’s a good teacher because she really cares about her students and she always wants to inspire them to succeed.
Ben Twist, who has autism, was one of her students. And she felt he probably would have some trouble doing very good on his SATs even though it was obvious that he was studying very hard. When those results came back, they were a lot worse than she anticipated. Ben failed in every area. The youngster was devastated. And Mrs. Clarkson could see how much it destroyed his confidence. So she did something. She sent a letter home to Ben’s mother. She told her that Ben was always a positive force while studying, and that completing the SATs was, in itself, a success.
In another portion of the letter, she wrote: “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 […] Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.”
In tears. A letter to my 11 yr old autistic son from his school. "These tests only measure a little bit of you" pic.twitter.com/e9OPECidxX— Gail Twist🐝 (@gailtwist) July 9, 2016
Mrs. Clarkson also wrote to Ben’s mother that he was excelling in areas that the SATs just could not measure. She said that he was just incredible with things such as teamwork, increasing independence, athleticism, friendliness, design and musical skills. All of the things that a test simply could not reveal. And she finished her letter by writing: “Well done, Ben. We are very proud of you.”
By the time Ben’s mom had finished reading the letter, she was in tears. And young Ben had a new confidence in himself. Ben’s mom posted about the letter on social media, and it went viral. And THIS is what good teachers… no, GREAT teachers… are made of.