Everyone knows someone in their life who has either taught as a profession or has a family member who is a teacher. We also all remember the teachers throughout our years of education that inspired us as well as the educators who made us resent waking up for classes in the morning. And because of all of these interactions we have had with teachers throughout our formative years, we all have preconceived notions of what it means to be a teacher.
However, if you’re from North Carolina, the notion of what it means to be a teacher takes on a whole different idea. You probably remember the Moral Monday Marches in the Capitol, the protests of teachers throughout the state, and the overall disagreement over how teachers were being treated and what was expected of them.
In all of these situations, from seeing teachers on the news to seeing them in the classroom, an idea of what a teacher should be like forms in people’s heads, whether or not they understand what truly goes into being a good teacher.
And what it means to be a teacher has been a hot topic in our state for years now and though the issue is heavily discussed in cities and near public schools, college campuses in a way act as a bubble: Students do not always know what is going on outside of that bubble.
That is about to change because two high school teachers and documentarists, Robert Phillips and Jason Korreck, will be viewing clips from their documentary at UNCW about the role of teachers.
The documentary, titled Teacher of the Year, follows one teacher in particular as well as utilizes the commentary of experts in media studies, education, and sociology to discuss how the role of teachers is more than as an educator, it is as a performer as well.
According to the documentary’s Facebook page, the documentary, “Makes the case for a more nuanced approach to the evaluation of teacher performance and what teachers actually do in the classroom.”
“What happens when a classroom teacher tries to become a Hollywood hero teacher?” asked Phillips when asked what his documentary is about. “Hollywood films, media representations, and socially constructed expectations for teachers create unrealistic standards for excellence that impact the lived experiences of teachers every day. These ideas, among others, are investigated in our feature-length documentary film, Teacher of the Year.”
The documentarists will show their clips at UNCW February 17 at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Student North Carolina Association of Educators and will be shown in Room 162 of the Education Building.
This event will be a great opportunity for education majors or those interested in understanding the expectations and realities of being a teacher. Ultimately, watching a documentary like this could also help each of us to understand our past and present teachers a little better as well as to help those looking into the profession understand what could lay ahead for them.
And if you want further information on the documentary, you can “like” and check out their Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Teacher of the Year’s Facebook Page.