Meet Blanche Caffiere, teacher who changed Bill Gates’ life

To have a teacher is important in life as he/she shapes you as a person, gives flight to your dreams and gives your passion a direction. Through their stories, classroom learnings, lessons, etc they build a persona.

Teachers are important in life and their presence in one’s life cannot be undermined as they are the go-to people when you are in trouble. They are good listeners and guide without any malice. A teacher can be anyone-your parents, school teacher, any mentor, etc.

Even Bill Gates acknowledges role of his teacher in his life. In his blog post, Gates thanked Blanche Caffiere, and said she changed his life.

Gates said Caffiere pulled him out of my shell by sharing her love of books. She started by asking questions like, “What do you like to read?” and “What are you interested in”

“Then she found me a lot of books—ones that were more complex and challenging than the Tom Swift Jr. science fiction books I was reading at the time. For example, she gave me great biographies she had read. Once I’d read them, she would make the time to discuss them with me. “Did you like it?” she would ask. “Why? What did you learn?” She genuinely listened to what I had to say. Through those book conversations in the library and in the classroom we became good friends,” Gates wrote in his blog.


Gates said although his mother, maternal grandmother and his wife Melinda Gates helped him become what he is today, he also expressed gratitude to Caffiere.

“Teachers generally don’t want to burden their students with extra reading beyond the homework they’ve assigned. But I learned from Mrs. Caffiere that my teachers had so much more knowledge to share. I just needed to ask. Up through high school and beyond, I would often ask my teachers about the books they liked, read those books when I had some free time, and offer my thoughts,” wrote Gates.

Gates said Caffiere helped him find his strengths and shaping the life of a child.