Purdue to screen teacher documentary Jan. 31

January 19, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's College of Education and Kappa Delta Pi education honor society will host a community screening of the documentary "American Teacher" on Jan. 31.

"American Teacher," narrated by actor Matt Damon, examines the state of teaching in America and offers a solution to the education crisis.

The film follows 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.

A panel discussion will follow the screening. Panelists are Ed Eiler, Lafayette School Corporation superintendent; Sarah Powley, McCutcheon High School English teacher and department chair; John Pearl, Battle Ground Elementary School principal; Melanie Shoffner, Purdue assistant professor of English education; Andrew Grismore, a Purdue senior in mathematics education; Kristin Wiedman, a Purdue senior in elementary education.

The screening and panel discussion, free and open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP at http://americanteacheratpurdue.eventbrite.com

The feature-length documentary film was directed and co-produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth. Also co-producing were Nínive Calegari, co-founder of the literacy nonprofit 826 National, and bestselling author Dave Eggers, in collaboration with Microsoft Partners in Learning.

Based on the book "Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers," the film is an endeavor of the Teacher Salary Project, a nonprofit organization offering an interactive online resource and a national outreach campaign to change how teachers are valued in our society.

More information about "American Teacher" is available at http://www.americanteachermovie.org

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

Sources: Tonya Agnew, College of Education, 765-494-0568, tragnew@purdue.edu

                  Emily Davis, 203-788-2360, emily@theteachersalaryproject.org