5th-grade teacher sends home reassuring letter to students ahead of STAAR test

MAGNOLIA, Texas – It's a definition she didn't want them pulling out of any textbook.

"No matter what happens on the test, that it doesn't define them. It doesn't make them who they are," Magnolia Parkway Elementary fifth-grade teacher Miranda Folsom said.

Folsom said as the STAAR test loomed closer, she could feel the fears among her students growing stronger.

"It's a very stressful test," Ms. Folsom said.

So she found some words that she hoped would calm their worry, sending out a note to her class. In it, she told them the test is not what makes them special.

"All I ask is that you do your personal best, and you do not give up," mother Katie Majors reads the note that was sent home with her daughter Malory. "Believe in yourself because I believe in you. Remember, just breathe. Ms. Folsom."

Majors said it brought a new level of assurance to her daughter.

"I just felt that the letter was very empowering and encouraging, and it really helped to build confidence for the students," Majors said.

Folsom says she just wants the students to remember they're measured by so much more than a score.

"It's about teaching a well-rounded person, where they grow up and graduate and become good citizens for our future," Ms. Folsom said.

The fifth-graders will need to pass the STAAR test in order to move on to sixth grade.

Ms. Folsom says she's had several students tell her the letter helped get them through the stressful test.