Jessica Ellis
March 01, 2016 10:19 am

You guys ready to feel some fuzzy feels this morning? Abby Martin, a social media-savvy mom in Indiana, has taken to Facebook and Instagram to spread a loving message sent out by her son’s teacher, and we bet a lot of parents and kids are grateful this morning.

In Abby’s state, kids are preparing to take an annual standardized test called the ISTEP, which measures their abilities in subjects like math and reading comprehension. Part of the No Child Left Behind program, the test is generally meant to be used as a measure of how well the school and the students are doing, but many younger kids, like Abby’s son Ryan, hear the word “test” and can experience a lot of anxiety, even though the tests don’t directly effect their grades or class standing.

Abby was concerned when Ryan told her he had cried at school recently, but when she asked why, she got a lovely surprise: Ryan had welled up over an encouraging letter his teacher had given out in preparation for the ISTEP testing. Abby was so moved, she put it out there immediately, and it’s gone viral!

Now before the accusations of “special snowflaking” start getting thrown around, take a look at what the letter is actually doing: It’s not suggesting that tests aren’t important or that the results don’t matter, instead, the teacher very carefully crafts a message that highlights that how you do on tests is only one facet of your intelligence and value.

The letter points out that good qualities and aptitude come in many forms, from artistry to being a reliable friend. It values holistic development over hyper-focusing on letting one test define you, and we think that’s a message that both kids and adults should take to heart. We’re sure Ryan wasn’t the only one who felt less anxious and more valued after reading it- we sort of do, too!

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