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About American Teacher


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American Teacher is the feature-length documentary created and produced by Vanessa Roth, Nínive Calegari, Dave Eggers, and Brian McGinn. The film includes a musical score by Thao Nguyen and is narrated by Matt Damon. The film chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. Their stories are told through the mixture of footage and interviews with students, families, and colleagues, as well as the teachers themselves. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones throughout their careers, American Teacher tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today.


Please click here for a complete listing of where you can find American Teacher on demand!


We want to plan a screening of American Teacher in your neighborhood! But we need your help. Click here to send your information to our official Community Screening Partner, Microsoft Partners in Learning. Microsoft Partners in Learning will provide the resources necessary for any educator, school administrator, parent, community leader or non-profit organization to host a screening and catalyze a dialogue about the professionalism of teaching practice on the local and national level.


“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.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“The film is a rebuttal of sorts to the pundits and politicians who are eager to battle unions and write teachers off as the over-protected recipients of Cadillac benefits, extended summer vacations and low expectations.” – Anna M. Phillips, New York Times

“It quickly knocks down the idiocy often voiced by right-wing television commentators that teachers are goof-offs who work six-hour days and take three months off every year. The director, Vanessa Roth, follows several teachers through their long days at school and into their personal lives, where low pay is a constant worry that affects marriages and contributes to an alarming turnover rate.” – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

American Teacher succeeds in reframing education’s abstract ideological battles in terms of kitchen-table realities.” – Kristina Rizga, Mother Jones

“What makes the film more than just a cheerleading countermove is the towering amount of research it contains: historical data tracing the profession from being the domain of men to largely that of women, and the cynical economic ploy behind the shift; terrifying figures on the rates of those fleeing the profession as well as the looming crisis of a mass retirement of elderly teachers; the sobering numbers of teachers living at the poverty level and/or holding down a second job.” – Ernest Hardy, The Village Voice

“It compellingly shows how we lose many of our best teachers, and suggests how we can change this pattern.” – Mark Phillips, Washington Post Answer Sheet blog

“This is an important film that raises important questions about America’s teachers. It should spark a much-needed conversation.” – Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education