Welcome to the world of standardized testing. It will evaluate your aptitude in the areas of math and english. When you're older, your history and science knowledge will be evaluated as well. It may shed light on whether your teachers have been able to feed you the material covered by the test quickly enough for you to spit it back out into little penciled bubbles and long composition. It can't put a percentage on the value of a teacher who finds the magic inside each of her students, or hosts a valentine party on a snow day. It won't show the benefit of having a teacher who cares that you had a loss in your life, or one who knows just when to catch you having great behavior and praise you. A standardized test will never measure what I hold dear about you or any of your siblings. It can't evaluate whether any of you remember to say "please", "thank you" or "can I help you?". It won't measure kindness, compassion or creativity. It can't rate citizenship. There is no category that can capture your laughter, praise your positive attitude or place a value on your ability to create something beautiful out of a bunch of recyclables. When you're older, similar tests will determine which colleges are interested in you. When you're all grown, there are always more evaluations. You get to decide what they mean to you then.
For now, all will be quiet after the craziness of the testing. In the fall, we'll receive copies of all of your scores in the mail. I won't lie and say that I won't be proud if the report states that you are "proficient" or "advanced". We are a society that thrives on labels. I want for all of you to have the "good" ones. I also know that we don't need to await your scores to understand who any of you are. So, yes, eat a good breakfast, get a good night's sleep and do your best work every day. Fill in the little bubbles as well as you can, and inject a fair amount of your unique style into your composition. I'll leave it up to the tests to determine your "aptitude". Your attitude will be much more important, and will determine your altitude when you someday soar into the life you create.