Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by watching the inspiring documentary TEACH and submitting Teacher Stories on TakePart.com

  • May 06, 2014


“Their well-being, their future, really depend on how well I prepare them for the next level. “

Matt Johnson, a teacher at Denver, Colorado’s McGlone Elementary

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a teacher, and I’m willing to bet that the quote above resonates with you. Because like the teacher who said it, you have a profound grasp on the role you play in shaping lives. And every day, you carry that sense of mission and responsibility into the classroom.

Do you ever wish that more people recognized that? I do, and that’s why I’m recommending that you do two things:

1) Tell every student and former student you know about a cool new contest called Teacher Stories (info below).

2) Host a community screening of the groundbreaking documentary TEACH, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth; Waiting For Superman).

Watch the “TEACH” trailer.

Hosted by Queen Latifah, the film follows four dedicated public school teachers over the course of  the 2013 school year as they navigate challenges, talk about their experiences and demonstrate the kind of tenacity and creativity it takes to make education work, sometimes in-spite of the circumstances.  It’s a rare, intimate look inside the reality of what you actually do every day, and as calling cards go you couldn’t ask for better.

The film’s creators want to help you host a screening of TEACH at your school. Why not take this opportunity to gather staff, parents, community leaders and others for an evening of helpful discussion and healthy relationship-building? There’s even a free discussion guide that will help you start the dialogue. As I said, you’ve embraced the mission. Here’s a good way to help the community embrace it as well.

For information on hosting a screening at your school, visit the official TEACH web site.

And while you’re there, be sure to check out Teacher Stories, a contest open to anyone 13 years or older who’d like to do a little bragging about a teacher who made a difference in their lives. Every eligible story submitted will go toward raising a $50,000 donation to U.S. public schools, and your entry might even win a direct cash prize for your school.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio