Dear Terrence,

It seems like such a simple solution to the problem, doesn’t it? Every time I have a chance and kneel at your side as you work, all the apathy and animosity seem to disappear, and you put your best effort on the paper. All it takes is for me to be there, walking you through the first few steps, helping you when you get stuck, answering your questions patiently.

It’s clear that the key to motivating students like you, students who have had more failures than successes in school, is the one-on-one relationship implicit in me kneeling by your side and offering a bit of help.

Unfortunately, with a class the size of ours, it seems that such moments are few and far between. It’s that old teacher-student ratio coming into play again.

Somehow we must find a way to solve the problem or at least mitigate its disastrous consequences: we don’t hold the strings to the purse, and we simply can’t hire more teachers to have a lower student-teacher ratio. Somehow we have to solve that problem — or, as I said, mitigate it — and we have to want and seek that solution together.

What do you say?

With hope,
Your Teacher in Room 302


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