A U.K. teacher went above and beyond for her student with autism.
Eleven-year-old Ben Twist has autism and attends Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College in St. Helens in Merseyside, England. Though his special needs pose educational challenges, Ben completed his SATs, a series of standardized tests for students in England.
Last week, his mom Gail tweeted a picture of a special letter he received from his teacher, Mrs. Clarkson, after his results came through.
Clarkson began the letter by telling Ben she wants to “congratulate” him on his attitude and success in completing the exams ― which was no small feat, his mother told The Liverpool Echo.
According to The Guardian, Ben failed his exams, but with this letter, his teacher shared a powerful message about what really matters in his education. “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,” she wrote. “They are important and you have done so well, but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.”
She then listed some of Ben’s other talents, like his kindness, growing independence, ability to work in a team and make friends and knack for music and art.
“We are so pleased that all of these different talents and abilities make you the special person you are and there are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely bright young man,” she concluded. “Well done Ben, we are very proud of you.”
In the six days since Ben’s mom shared the letter on Twitter, it’s been retweeted over 4,000 times and reached almost 8,000 favorites. As Gail noted in her tweet, the teacher’s words made her tear up.
“Ben is sensitive and he does worry about things, and I wish more schools did things like this,” the mom added in an interview with The Liverpool Echo. “He is all of the things they wrote about him ― he is an amazing person. I think their words will stay with him if we keep reminding him what they said about him.
Gail said Ben was touched by the note as well.
“When I told him he said, ‘Wow, do they really think all those things about me?’”
Cheers to Mrs. Clarkson and all the other awesome teachers out there!
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