Charles Best
Founder, DonorsChoose.org
01:35

A Teacher's Influence

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Think of them as junior parents, Best says.

Charles Best

Charles Best founded DonorsChoose.org at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years. He thought up DonorsChoose.org during a lunch conversation with colleagues, and his students volunteered to help start the organization. To entice his fellow teachers to try out the new website, Charles offered them his mother's famous pear dessert. DonorsChoose.org has been growing since.
Transcript

Question: Why are teachers so influential?

Charles Best: Well, I hope that during the five years, when I was a social studies teachers up in the Bronx that I was at least a little bit impactful on my students, and I think with me and my students it helped that I was pretty close to them in age, and I think it helped that I was just really excited to be teaching them and I think I hopefully infected some of them with my enthusiasm for the subject matter I was teaching and, you know, when I look back there were some really tough kids, a couple whom would write me birthday cards on my birthday, and do things that where really sweet which they probably never would have admitted to amongst their classmates, but I did get to experience that bond between teacher and students for five years and I think it was really what prompted me to start DonorsChoose.org, but in terms what it is about teachers is that has so many people citing them as their role models... I don’t know, I guess it’s just that they are like a junior of parent, always the one that the teachers who you really like.

 

Recorded on: 1/29/08


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