Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

How Can You Support Classrooms? A Teacher Tells Us How!

October 05, 2011

Teachers have one of the most important and challenging jobs in the world. Yet they often lack the funding and resources they need to do their best work.

That is why we are excited to announce a new local partnership with DonorsChoose.org, Starbucks, and the Community Center for Education Results to help teachers in King County, Washington, get much-needed support for their classrooms. Starting today, people in King County can visit Starbucks stores to pick up a FREE $10 gift card to help fund classroom projects in King County that are posted to DonorsChoose.org, an incredible organization we partner with to support teachers across the country.

Judy Camann, a special education teacher at Franklin High School, joined me and other partners this morning to kick off this campaign. She was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions about what it is like to be a teacher and why organizations like DonorsChoose.org are so important.

David: Why did you become a teacher? And what is the most rewarding thing about being a teacher?

Judy: I have been teaching for the better part of 30 years — on the east and west coasts, private and public schools, from early childhood through the university level. One of the most rewarding aspects is the colleagues with whom I have taught. At every level, teachers are committed to giving of themselves and their time with no expectations of acknowledgement. Despite resources, time, and political agendas, teachers are exemplary examples of leaders in front of their classes. When I am feeling perplexed or tired, I know there are many colleagues I can turn to for immediate reassurance and support. I hope I have done the same for others over the years as well.

David: Why do teachers need organizations like DonorsChoose.org?

Judy: Teachers need organizations like DonorsChoose.org for a variety of reasons. We need resource support - especially true during these times of economic hardship, and community support. The spirit lift teachers feel when someone, often someone they do not even know, takes the time to not just read their project proposal but also believe in the results and the students involved, is wonderful.  Lastly, DonorsChoose.org is an opportunity for teachers to support other teachers.

David: You’ve partnered with DonorsChoose.org before to fund a classroom project. Can you tell me a little about the project, and how it helped your students?

Judy: I have had three projects funded over the last year. One of the projects, Staying in time with time, I use with every class. This project has allowed a class set of subscriptions of TIME magazine to be delivered weekly along with a new political globe. The students can read TIME as an option in my Language Arts classes during silent reading. In World History, we read TIME to connect past events to current events. The new globe allows students to reflect on the physical aspects of the articles we read. Furthermore, my classes are very culturally diverse. TIME and the globe allow students to connect and share their cultures and countries with relevant and updated materials.

King County residents can help support teachers like Ms. Camann—or fund the 1,200 teacher requests for supplies and resources. Just head to your local Starbucks store to get your DonorsChoose.org gift card, and apply it to a project of your choice.

 
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