American Teacher: Philadelphia Screening at a Futurist School

American Teacher is a documentary that chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. Narrated by Matt Damon, the teacher’s stories are told through a 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 in their careers, our film tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today.

On December 1st, I had the pleasure of conducting a screening of American Teacher in Philadelphia, at the High School of the Future (SOF). In 2003, the School District of Philadelphia and Microsoft joined forces to build a high school that could serve as a model for 21st-century learning communities around the world and promote digital inclusion, integrate technology into the learning community, generate innovative education practices, and create an environment that helps to inspire passionate, personal responsibility for learning.

A fitting location for the movie screening, young learners from the SOF helped staff the event, and I moderated a panel discussion and Q&A session with guests that included Dr. Leroy David Nunery II, the Acting CEO & Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia. Our other distinguished panelists were: Mr. Jerry Jordan, President, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Dr. Jerusha Conner, Assistant Professor of Education, Villanova University; Mr. Thomas Emerson, Educator, School of the Future; Dr. Dominic Gullo, Professor, School of Education, Drexel University; and Mr. Jeffrey Pestrak, Chief Academic Officer, Mastery Charter Schools.

Photo by SOF teacher Young Kim (from

See Kim’s complete album from the American Teacher event by logging onto Skydrive here.

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