Your Dollars Have Made Life Worse for Children

Aloha Bill Gates,

On my generous days, I think that you started out with good intentions to help children be successful and then you got lost somewhere.  Most of the time though I realize that where I see children, you see dollars.  Where I see children who need nurturing, food, or a safe place to belong, you see dollars.

The students who have touched me during my 39 years + of teaching need me to listen to them, share and guide them through their journeys in school and outside of school. Computers and software programs can not give students any of that. Your dollars have done what I never thought could happen, they have made life worse for children.

Schools are closing, great educators are being worn down daily, standardized tests are being misused to destroy children and their communities.  Trust me – in my years I have seen “cure-all” solutions come and go on the pendulum; but nothing compares to what your cronies and you have done with money.

Here’s a thought as I close. When children think about school, do they remember how a computer, a program or money helped them be their best? I think not. Children remember their journeys facilitated by educators who give them a safe, caring environment in which they can succeed and even fail sometimes knowing that it’s ok to try their best!

Every year the first thing I tell my students is that it is my job to keep them safe, physically and academically. It is a sacred trust upon which we build. It is why I am writing you. I won’t give up because I have promised my students, past and future to keep them safe.

Cheryl

A Teacher in Hawaii

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We are running for the following Renton Education Association positions because we believe in the following planks: Becca Ritchie, Candidate for REA President, Nelsen Middle School, Computer Tech Susan DuFresne, Candidate for Primary Executive Board, Maplewood Heights Elementary, Integrated Kindergarten ✅  Demanding a healthy work-load/life balance. ✅  Bargaining competitive professional compensation. ✅  Challenging the status quo test culture with: Less is more! ✅  Emphasizing our professional expertise. ✅  Prioritizing equity and access for all. ✅  Utilizing 2-way 21st century communication tools. ✅  Acting in solidarity with all unions. ✅  Supporting ALL members. ✅   Implementing developmentally appropriate K-3 curriculum/assessment.
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10 Responses to Your Dollars Have Made Life Worse for Children

    • Teachers'LettersToBillGates says:

      Oh, don’t be so sure… He cares about the top 10% or so… His formula hasn’t been revealed, has it?

      Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

  1. Cherity says:

    Best words I’ve heard in the last week said to me by a graduating 5th grader…please don’t ever retire Mrs. “Smith”… and this is why I love my job.

  2. Thank you for saying so clearly what is on my mind and in my heart! Everyday I say a prayer that thet collectively we beat back the forces that seek to eradicate puplic education. Your words let the world know why.

  3. Zak says:

    Bill used to think the biggest problem in education was the teacher evaluation instruments. If only we can improve the way teachers are measured, we can improve education and close the achievement gap! Of course, every teacher in America knows that, like in the business world, evaluation instruments are a subjective, almost arbitrary way to measure teacher effectiveness.

    Hey Bill, we don’t have a teacher problem in America. We have a parent problem in America.

    • Teachers'LettersToBillGates says:

      If there were a parent evaluation system, would it be equally subjective?

      There are many great parents and we need to work together.

      We believe the education problem is poverty and corporate reform.

      Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

      • It is naive to leave out the parents that don’t support their children’s education. Rich or poor, parents are leaving parenting to teachers. Yes we need to work together but we also have to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Until then, we are in big trouble.

      • Teachers'LettersToBillGates says:

        While we agree that some parents are leaving parenting to teachers, we also believe that society has changed greatly to where many families are forced to work 2-3 jobs in order to make a living with our current economic situation. We note you said “rich or poor”. The rich have little reason not to parent their own. Pitting parents against teachers and teachers against parents is part of the corporate reform agenda to divide and conquer. We need to work together to defeat their agenda, not blame one another.

        Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

  4. Nina Seifert Bishop says:

    I can think of many teachers who left an impact on my life. Teaching is personal. It’s the interaction between two human beings which makes the difference between regurgitating information and loving to learn. The object of the exercise is to create life long learners. No computer or software program can take the place of the love a nurturing teacher gives. Thank you to my 1st grade teacher who taught me honesty. She put a great big F on my math paper and I never copied anyone’s work again. Thank you to kind Mrs. Lyle; 3rd grade-for making the new kids feel at home, Mrs. Evans; 4th grade-taught me respect, Mrs. Eshman; 6th grade- taught me to love reading, Sheila Rich; 10th grade- taught me Spanish which opened my eyes to the world, Joe Domko; 9th grade- taught me to explore the world and really see what was in it, Leland Andres; my last 2 years of high school-helped hone my voice for voice for college, Mrs. Johnson; taught me to sew, Mr. Sanders; kept me employed because he taught me to type. Mr. Sanders died at Columbine. These were the PEOPLE, human beings, who nurtured me and showed me different points of view. I love them and remember them. Bill Gates, keep your millions because money can’t buy love and teachers are full of love. Love is most important ingredient to a good education; the difference between what you think teaching is and what teaching really is.

    • Teachers'LettersToBillGates says:

      Beautiful comment, Nina. We will blog this soon. It fits in so nicely with our most recent post….

      Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

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