The first Idaho screening of the new documentary film American Teacher will take place at 7 p.m. January 6 at the Boise State University Special Events Center, 1800 University Drive. The film is narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon.
After the movie, Rep. Brian Cronin will moderate a panel discussion that will include Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr and other participants. The screening is free, but filmgoers are asked to reserve a spot by visiting its EventBrite page. While at that page, you can make an optional donation to The Teacher Salary Project.
American Teacher chronicles the stories of four teachers – Erik Benner, Jonathan Dearman, Jamie Fidler, and Rhena Jasey – who live and work in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, the film tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today. The film shows us the experience of these four young teachers as they recognize the importance of what they do, and how much they love what they do, but ask: can I afford to continue to teach?
Undeniable research shows that a child's school success depends on quality teaching. In the next ten years, more than half of the current 3.2 million teachers will be eligible to retire. We will then have a choice: continue with the current, broken system of trying to attract talented college graduates to the teaching profession by offering low pay, long hours, little support, and no prestige – a system that results in high turnover and low morale and translates into 85 percent of graduates refusing to even consider the profession. Or we change: increase compensation and improve conditions to attract the best college graduates who might otherwise go into law, finance, or other lucrative fields. With the best and the brightest in the profession, schools will get better.
For trailers from the film and more information, see its website.