Well Folks, just a heads-up that it looks like tonight is your last chance, for a while at least, to see “American Teacher” by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari and crew. I went last night with a couple of my Young Writers Camp Seoul mates and it is definitely worth seeing and discussing.
Does it clear up once and for all what needs to be done in education? Claro qué no. It would take at least a 20 part series (with no Ken Burns effect) to start to get to the heart of the many issues around education in this country, but this movie is definitely part of the discussion we need to have.
The movie profiles four interesting teachers from different parts of the country and includes some facts and charts which make you shake your head and go, “Whoa.” Matt Damon, friend of teachers (see his speech at the Save Our Schools March…awesome), does a fine job on the narration.
One fact that stuck with me: 31% of American teachers have had to take a second job to support their families.
One take-away idea: Raising teacher salaries over $100K is always a good idea (And there’s 5 G’s in it for anyone who wants to hire me at that level right here, right now, cash money…Although here’s another option: raise teacher salaries a little less than that but pay for them to go to grad school after every five years of service. Don’t you want the educators educated, committed, brilliant and able to sustain the rigor of the day to day classroom? What was that other fact in the ovie? 20% of teachers leave teaching after the first year.).