Davis Guggenheim, the speaker on stage here, was discussing his latest documentary film “Waiting for ‘Superman’” with 18000 high school students. That’s a pretty big number of people. I recently watched this film and my immediate reaction, as a Canadian teacher, was one of revulsion and disappointment. I see what’s happening to children, to young people whose future is outside of their control and jeopardized by adults – teachers, politicians, administrators, economists – who are thinking of themselves instead of those they are charged to protect, teach and help and it makes me feel queasy. Listening to Guggenheim last October made me feel at least somewhat encouraged that there are people who are seeing the horrors of the education system.
While visiting Vancouver for We Day, Guggenheim reminded the students that the reason they were there was because of good teachers and that good teachers would make the difference in the lives of students who would change the world. As a teacher in attendance, it felt pretty good. For a brief moment, me and the teachers in attendance were given an ovation that few of us will hear in our lives. 18000 people clapping, cheering for the good we’re doing is pretty amazing. Thanks, Mr. Guggenheim.