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  • Govt Spotlight_Teach Documentary

    What does it take to be a teacher? TEACH, a documentary by Academy Award Winner Davis Guggenheim, looks into this question. Guggenheim, who has directed other documentaries including Waiting for Superman and An Inconvenient Truth shows viewers the inspiring work that teachers do and how they make a difference in students’ lives. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and other organizations, TEACH aims to highlight teachers and encourages others to join the field of teaching.

    The documentary is hosted by Queen Latifah and follows four public school teachers throughout their 2013 school year.  The documentary shows a year in the life of these teachers and illustrates the unconventional and collaborative methods they use to help their students learn. Each teacher’s story shows what it takes to master the craft of teaching. Throughout the documentary viewers see the ups and downs that come with being a teacher, but also the methods these teachers use to help their students succeed.

    TEACH was a project envisioned by Guggenheim after he completed his Waiting for Superman documentary which highlighted the failures of America’s public education system.  While filming Waiting for Superman, Guggenheim saw good teachers exploring innovative approaches in their teaching.  He felt compelled to create a documentary which showcased what teachers do to bring attention to the fact that our country should invest in good teachers and practices, and also work hard to recruit the best and brightest into teaching.  In a video interview on www.takepart.com/teach, Guggenheim says, “I thought, if I made a TV show that showed people what great teaching is, that people might see that as a way to reinvest in our schools and reinvest in what works. And what works is great teaching.”

    Guggenheim brought TEACH to life in partnership with organizations such as the U.S. Department of Education, the American Federation of Teachers, Teach for America, the National Education Association, United Negro College Fund, National Network of State Teachers of the Year, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  Many companies including Microsoft, NewSchools Venture Fund, and others also supported the initiative.  

    According to the TEACH website, half of America’s teachers will be eligible to retire over the next decade and they hope that the initiative will help transform K-12 education and encourage and empower the best and brightest students to enter the teaching field. TEACH strives to bring to light the great work of teachers and to help people see it as a top career choice. 

    TEACH originally aired on CBS in September last year. School of Education students  or anyone interested in seeing TEACH or learning more about the initiative can visit www.takepart.com/teach. You can also visit www.pivot.tv/movies/teach to see when it will be streamed or download it on iTunes.

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