Brenda Payne, who teaches in Baltimore County, wrote the following open letter to Douglas Gansler, a candidate for governor of Maryland. It was published in the Baltimore Sun. We need more teachers like Brenda Payne, fearless, articulate, activist, to set this country on the right track.

Below are a few paragraphs from Brenda Payne’s letter to the Baltimore Sun. To read the entire letter, open the link.

By Brenda Payne

“An open letter to Douglas Gansler, attorney general of Maryland and candidate for governor

“Dear Mr. Gansler:

“As another school year winds down and I complete my 21st year in the Maryland Public School System, I am pondering where I should cast my vote in the upcoming gubernatorial election. It is a difficult choice. I do not need my union to tell me for whom I should vote. I can choose on my own. After your recent ad campaign, I can tell you who will not have my vote: you.

“I watched the ad on television and laughed at it, even as I shook my head and rolled my eyes. You want to “lift up our kids.” What on earth does that really mean? You want “Skill over seniority in every classroom!” Good luck with that one, too.

“All of us who have been in the classroom, either for a year or 30, should take offense at your ad. To suggest those of us in the classroom are not skilled is a slap in the face of those of us who head into those classrooms every day to try to convince bored, disinterested students that we really do want them to learn…..

“Believe me, Mr. Gansler, not one of us is in this profession for the money. Those of us who are “career teachers” are not in the classroom because it pays the bills. We are there because we want to be. We love children. You already have “skilled” teachers. What we need is more support and understanding. I accept my responsibility as a teacher, I understand my job. I love my kids. But to hold me completely accountable for the success or failure of my students is preposterous. I have my students for about 6.5 hours a day. I do not go home with them. I can not control what they do before and after school….”

Brenda Payne