In class we are looking at education and what makes a great school and how to get it. I watched a good movie that describes what is needed. The documentary, “American Teacher,” tells the story of four extraordinary teachers from diverse parts of the country. It examines the struggles of the underpaid profession. As we all know and is quoted many times in the movie is that without great teachers there is no learning and we fall behind as a society. We need great teachers is be rewarded for all their efforts.
It is narrated by Matt Damon. It has excerpts of many teaching professionals in various areas of the profession. Author of the book, “The Flat World and Education,“ by Linda Darling-Hammond is in the film. She says that teachers in the United States are routinely undervalued rather than looked at as a tremendous resource that we haven’t earned. It pushes the teachers out of the profession and into better paying careers. The teachers interviewed speak so highly of their love of teaching but cannot afford to stay a teacher. Another person in the movie is Bill Gates. He says that “How do you make education better? Having great teachers if the very key thing. Our teachers deserve better.” He is talking on TED (www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_teachers_need_real_feedback.html) talks about what he is doing. He is researching and providing “Measures of effective teaching” to help teachers. One of the teachers Jamie says what I have said that first grade is such a pivotal point in their academic life, teaching them to read. In her first year of teaching she spent $3,000. of her own money to set up her classroom. She just couldn’t imagine continuing spending that much. But she continued.
I liked to documentary because it showed real teachers talking about their needs to stay in the teaching profession. What do you think teachers need to stay in the profession? How do you think they are looked at in this society? What does the #1 country in education, China, do that we can do?