"You must be wondering what I expect him to learn while in your care. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and if you can get to half of it I will owe you a debt that I won’t really ever be able to repay.
I’d like him to end the year a little kinder, a little more courageous, and a little more compassionate. He’s doing great now, but I know what type of competitive environment he’s headed into, and I know what that can do to people. There’s no need for him to come home crying because he can’t read as fast as the kid next to him.
It would also be incredible if, in the course of all that competition, he learns perseverance, impulse control, resiliency, and how to think about thinking. I believe these skills and capacities will get him far in life, regardless of how good he is at trigonometry later.
Most importantly, I need him to leave your classroom loving to learn. If that is all he walks away with, then you will have been successful, and I will sing your praises.”