American Teacher (2011)

Film Length:
81 minutes
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Weaving interviews of policy experts and startling facts with the lives and careers of four teachers, American Teacher tells the collective story by and about those closest to the issues in our educational systemthe 3.2 million teachers who spend every day in classrooms across the country. Through an interactive and evolving website and a feature-length documentary that brings together educational experts, student interviews, and a year of documenting the day-to-day lives and sacrifices of public school teachers, THE TEACHER SALARY PROJECT will bring an awareness to the real and imminent crisis in our educational systemhow little we value our strongest, most committed, and most effective teachers, and the ripple effect this has on how our children learn and their potential for future success.

In keeping with the storytelling styles of both Dave Eggers (writer) and Vanessa Roth (director), American Teacher is a character-driven film that explores this urgent issue through humor, irony, and the energy of the teachers who fill the screen. Since 2008, our team has closely followed the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas across the country. The film's narrative balances the personal stories of each character with a mixture of interviews and animated facts and statistics by Stefan Nadelman, each highlighting the big sacrifices made by our nations teachers, and how these demanding costs force many of our greatest teachers out of the profession. The film is narrated by Matt Damon, who is passionate about education, and includes an original musical score by Thao Nguyen.

The Film Campaign

The success of our younger generation and the society and economy they will build will be influenced heavily by who they have as teachersright now is the time to ensure we equip them with subject experts who can inspire a love for learning, foster workplace-relevant skills and knowledge, and personalize instruction so that each child achieves his or her potential. We must attract and retain the most highly-qualified educators to give our students the skills they need to successfully compete and thrive in the global economy.


Where to buy:
American Teacher

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Teachers, education policy makers, leaders, parents, students and celebrities from across the country have joined The Teacher Salary Project in asking our fifty governors what they are doing to recruit and retain the best teaching force that can most effectively serve their states' students. Weve sent each governor a packet of resources- including a copy ofAmerican Teacher with suggestions for small and large steps they can take to make teaching the financially attractive, prestigious, and sustainable profession it deserves and needs to be.

We are tracking our governors responses and hope leaders across the country will be inspired to adopt one anothers brave and innovative approaches to elevate the teaching profession by increasing teachers salaries. Where does your state stand? Click here to track your governors progress on teacher pay:

Event Name Date City State   Location Status
American Teacher Apr 29, 2014 Durham NC United States Motorco Music Hall Complete
American Teacher Apr 29, 2014 Raleigh NC United States NCAE Headquarters Complete
American Teacher Apr 25, 2014 Asheville NC United States Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville Complete
Moral Mondays series - "American Teacher" Film and Discussion Apr 24, 2014 Wilmington NC United States Cameron Art Museum Complete
American Teacher Apr 24, 2014 Charlotte NC United States NCAE Complete
American Teacher Apr 24, 2014 Greensboro NC United States Joseph M Bryan Jr. Audorium Complete
American Teacher Apr 24, 2014 Greenville NC United States Hendrix Theater, East Carolina University Complete

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