American Teacher (2011)
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Critic Reviews for American Teacher
This heartbreaking and essential look into the lives of those who put so much into educating other people's children ought to be seen by anyone concerned about the fate of the public school system, and the nation as a whole.
A heartfelt, bittersweet portrait of several teachers as they make the difficult decision of whether to stick with the profession.
As we watch the individuals in "American Teacher" struggle with the burdens the system places on them, it's hard not to feel like crying, both for them specifically and for our national culture.
Featuring a tedious procession of statistics, graphs and talking heads, American Teacher undercuts the forcefulness of its arguments with its underwhelming presentation.
The film is relentlessly one-sided enough to become tiring, but it's impossible not to feel for the main characters, who all love what they do while continually being forced to question how feasible it is.
Audience Reviews for American Teacher
Well-meaning, but not a very accurate look at today's teachers. I'm a retired teacher and can say that the teachers in this doc. were not the ones I worked with-none had 2nd. jobs. Few of my colleagues spent much extra time or their own money in their classrooms. Also, teachers' salaries have grown significantly in recent years.
This movie is so eye-opening and powerful. It goes into the life of teachers and really exposes our society's misconceptions about the teaching profession. So many of our country's best teachers are not getting enough money, not receiving enough respect, and not able to continue without burning out.One of the most powerful quotes in the movie: "They're not asking to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. They're asking to be able to buy a house, to have a decent car, to live in a nice neighborhood, to have some comforts - to maybe take a vacation every once in a while. And when you have teachers that have to have second jobs, when you have teachers that are living at the poverty level, then I think there is something wrong with that. And as a society, we need to really change that culture. We need to flip it around to say that being a teacher is the most important job in our society."- Mark Bounds (Deputy Superintendent for Educator Quality in South Carolina), American Teacher
This documentary briefly focuses on the complexities of the public education system. Through a series of interviews, four distinctive educators (ranging across the country) discuss the 'ups and downs' in their careers while giving insight into their own personal lives in and outside the world of teaching. This film gives an interesting perspective upon the history and future of public education. Narrated by Matt Damon (whom also contributed narration to Inside Job and Running the Sahara). Given the context of this film, it's definitely worthy.
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