Director's Statement and Synopsis
The TEACH documentary, TEACH, Teachers are Talking, Is the Nation Listening? is a film that features conversations about the art of teaching and learning by teachers themselves. TEACH brings an important perspective to the national education debate that is currently being dominated by a corporate led agenda to privatize education and blame teachers for everything that is wrong with education in this country. This movie takes on many questions about No Child Left Behind, high stakes testing, unequal distribution of education resources, and schools dominated by data driven curriculum instead of providing an education that is dynamic, creative, exciting, and joyful. As the filmmakers state in the movie, "Every day in the media we hear from the businesses, thinktankers, politicians, and administrators, this movie is about those who don't usually get heard."
We have interviewed over 40 teachers from many school districts including Boston, Brooklyn, NY, Madison, WI, Key West, FL, North Conway, NH, Cambridge, MA, Newton, MA, Lincoln-Sudbury,MA, and others. Additional parts of the movie include legislative hearings, speeches by Bradley Whitford, Diane Ravitch, and others, debates between union and school officials, various public hearings about school closings, and various teacher rallies. Recently we traveled to Wisconsin to take part in the rallies and document the multitude of happenings there to fight to protect their unions. We have interviews and many scenes from their recent protests there including the rally of more than 100,000 people on February 26.
Robert Lamothe and Yvonne Lamothe are teachers in the Boston Public Schools. Since we started this movie around 4 years ago we have become increasing concerned and dismayed by what has been happening to our schools and education in general. People are making decisions about our schools that don't really know what they are doing and don't have the interests of children and our schools as the determining factor in setting our education policies. The joys of learning and teaching are being destroyed by this terrible emphasis on testing and standards. We have become increasingly frustrated by the fact that very seldom do teachers voices get heard. Teachers who should be a leading part of education policy and "reform" are for the most part not part of the process, not part of the national and local debates.
Each day we hear about teaching and teachers through the eyes of administrators, politicians and business leaders. Public education in the US is under attack. Seldom is voice given to those dedicated and experienced teachers who work in our public schools. . Interviews with teachers from many school districts illuminate what's happening to schools across the country, what is impacting their performance, and offers their analysis of the performance and purpose of the charter movement. This documentary hopes to give dignity and appreciation to the passion, commitment and insight of those who make the choice to devote their lives to educating all of our nation's children.
As stated in the subtitle, Teachers are Talking, Is the Nation Listening. We hope to bring the voices and wisdom of teachers to the nation.
Robert Lamothe and Yvonne Lamothe
Director / Producer
Film Our Way Films
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