Monday, June 24, 2013

Your Dollars Have Made Life Worse for Children

Originally posted on Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates.
Re-posted with permission of original author.

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.


A Teacher in Hawaii

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