Showtime in Clay

The Clay County Education Association hosted a community screening for the film “American Teacher.”

Tickets for the event at the Fleming Island Carmike Cinemas were ordered through an outfit called Eventbrite. Tracy Butler has the story:

AMERICAN TEACHER chronicles the stories of 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. The film shows us the experience of these four young teachers as they recognize the importance of what they do, and how much they love what they do, but ask: can I afford to continue to teach?

  “Eventbrite not only collected the mailing address, email address and phone number of every person ordering tickets, it also was able to give reports on the folks that actually showed up (using a smart phone we could scan the bar code of each ticket) we also know the demographics of our attendees. We know this information will help us as we establish our activist network. When all the data was entered we found that we had 130 in attendance, including FEA Vice President Joanne McCall, several presidents from surrounding counties, an FEA regional specialist, the Clay superintendent, School Board members, the chief negotiator, director of human resources and the director of curriculum. Teachers from many counties came and brought their husbands and wives.    


“We had a guest speaker to conclude our evening: Deborah Gianolous, former anchor for WJXT News4Jax and now director of Save Duval Schools. She spoke about how the attacks on teachers have evolved into the undermining of public education as a whole. She did a wonderful job describing the atmosphere and attitude when she addresses various legislative bodies. She confirmed so much of what FEA has told us for so long and that is when they get to Tallahassee they are among friends and they don’t have a concern about their constituents. It is politics all the way!

“One of my most meaningful exchanges came when a woman was coming out of another movie and saw all the great handouts and hoopla and asked me what was happening. As I explained it all to her she told me that she is a teacher in Putnam County but lives in Clay. I asked her to join us and she did. After the show she came to me and explained how this was such a moving experience. I believe Putnam County may be getting a new member! All-in-all the evening was a huge success.”

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