To our viewers:


A central theme of PASSION TO TEACH (PTT) is self-directed learning.  So we understand you’ll want to use the film in ways that fit your own organization’s values, goals, and learning needs.


Still, some of the following suggestions may be useful as you think through PLANNING, PROMOTING, and SCREENING the film – as well as FOLLOW-UP actions that PTT might inspire.


Let us know how we can help.


Yours in learning,

Sandria and Bart






  1. Who?

   Convene an organizing group to:

  • Advocate screening.

  • Plan event.

  • Sponsor event with significant partners.

  • Invite viewers.

  • Organize follow-up.


 2.  Where?  What?

   Devise a plan for:

  • Venue
    fit for audience size.  Living room?  Auditorium?  Community center?  Make sure signs clearly direct the way.

  • Equipment
    TV, DVD or Blu-ray player, projector, screen, sound system, mics for panel/Q&A, extra batteries, HDMI adapters for laptop, flip charts and markers for discussion?

  • Modest budget
    See How Much? below.

  • Sign-up list
    and a registration desk if you want a record of attendees for follow-up purposes.

  • Moderator
    to introduce screening and to manage post-screening session.

  • Panel or Q&A session
    after screening.  Local teachers?  Parents?  Opinion leaders?  Filmmakers?

  • Follow-up learning and actions
    in weeks and months after event.


3.   Why?
Articulate, simply and clearly, your intended audience for the film, your goals for the event itself, and the outcomes you wish to see after the event.  For example:

  • To urge teachers to teach from the heart despite top-down reform pressures.

  • To recruit new teachers and/or encourage teacher leaders.

  • To engage parents as advocates in advancing local public schools.

  • To champion public education in light of privatizing reforms.

  • To spark a community conversation about real problems in teaching and learning.
    Low test scores, inconsistent standards, weak accountability systems?  Or boredom, disconnects between school and the world, uniformity?  Something else?

  • To spur other conversations and actions specific to your community’s strengths, weaknesses, or other issues.  Namely?


4.   When?

  • Confirm plans at least 5 weeks in advance of event.

  • Set most convenient date and time for screening.
    Is audience available weekdays?  Late afternoon?  Early evening?  Are there conflicting events then?  If you want a guest speaker, is he or she available then?

  • Advertise length of film.
    PTT is 88 minutes long.  Panel/Q&A runs 25-45 minutes.  Plan accordingly.


5.   How much?
What will your total budget be?

  • One-time license for standard-def DVD:  $365.

  • One-time license for high-def Blu-ray DVD:  $375.

  • Separate licenses for two screenings.

  • 10% discount for three or more screenings.

  • Shipping costs:  $10.00.

  • Rental and/or custodial fees for your venue.

  • Revenue for you:  Organizations can recover their costs, or even make money for given causes, by asking for donation (or charging fee) per person.





  1. Compose a clear description of the screening event for print and electronic messaging.

  • Vital info:  List topic, date, time, venue, target audience, and reasons to come (whether for print, electronic, or voice communications).

  • Endorsements:  Cite local parents, educators, community leaders.  For a sample of PTT endorsements, click here.

  • Stills:  Where possible, include PTT images.  Click here.

  • Question:  Include an ‘essential’ or ‘hook’ question (see #2 for samples).

  • Boilerplate:  Add to description of event using excerpts from #7 below.


2.  Ask an ‘essential’ or ‘hook' question in your description.

  • Example:  How do skillful, maverick teachers teach from the heart – and not to the test – despite a disheartening top-down reform system?

  • Example:  What is the more important end of education?  Test prep for test scores?  Self-directed learning for a lifetime?  Something else?

  • Example:  Should universal public education, neighborhood schools, and local community oversight yield to charters, vouchers, and privatizing reforms?

  • Local:  What essential question focuses on your own local issues?  Is your question simple and easy to scan?


3.  Word-of-mouth

  • Effective:  Remember that no promotional tool is more effective than word-of-mouth!

  • Personal:  Conversations and phone calls provide a personal touch.

  • Efficient:  Texting can provide a multiplier effect and RSVP record.


4.  Social media

  • Group emails also provide a multiplier effect and RSVP record.

  • Make a “Facebook event page” and share it.

  • Use Twitter, Instagram, etc. to promote your event.


5.  Radio and community cablevision

  • Interviews with planners.

  • PSAs (public service announcements)


6.  Flyers

  • In schools/on campus:  faculty rooms, corridors, take-home fliers for parents, etc.

  • In the community:  store fronts, coffee shops, kiosks, etc.


7.  Boilerplate for event description or press release:  Click here.





  1. A week in advance

  • Test DVD/Blu-ray (as soon as it is received)

       § TV (if audience is small);
       § …in projector (to adjust size/focus of image, volume; to test darkness of venue).

  • If there are technical difficulties, and you require a new DVD,
    contact Sandria Parsons during regular business hours (508.577.1634).


 2.  Set-up

  • Tech staff to arrive early to tee up DVD;
    then to dim lights and start film.

  • Schedule support staff to arrive early to direct people to venue,
    check people in/collect fee (optional), hand out materials, etc.


 3.  Host/moderator.  In just a couple of minutes:

  • Welcomes audience.

  • Announces housekeeping items:  cell phones, exits, rest rooms.

  • Explains post-screening format and finish time.

  • Suggests essential question(s) – see Promoting #2 above – for viewing focus.


 4.  Screening

  • Be prepared for troubleshooting (power failures, blown bulbs, etc.)

  • Start on time given length of program.

  • End credits:  Consider using these 3 minutes to put your panel in place.

  • Lights come up at end of credits.


 5.  Panel discussion and/or Q&A

  • Panel:  Moderator asks questions of local educators, parents…
    community leaders, guest experts, the filmmakers, and/or others.

  • Q&A:  Moderator opens floor to audience questions.
    Have one or two people with roving mics – or repeat questions.

  • Sample questions to panel:


§  What are the overarching ends of public education?  Are they academic (content mastery)?  Or economic (work-related)?  Democratic (being an engaged citizen)?  Self-directed, lifelong learning?  All of these?  Others?  Are we focused on the right ends?

§  What PTT themes are relevant to our school’s mission?  Self-directed learning?  Learning by doing?  Intrinsic motivation?  Teacher skill and passion, autonomy and leadership?  Parent engagement?  Are we realizing our mission?

§  What do young people need to know and be able to do as adults in the 21st century?  What do they need to know regardless of the times?  Are they learning this knowledge and these skills?

§  Amy Lake is a metaphor for skillful, ‘maverick’ teachers whose love of learning has rubbed off on learners.  Should we be doing more to support such teachers in our schools?  In our community?  If yes, how?  If not, why not? 

§  What are our stories – of teachers, students, parents – that demonstrate what is of greater importance in learning?  That demonstrate what is of lesser importance?  Is our collective experience such that we are getting our priorities right?  If not, why not?

§  What are the roles of parents in our community?  Do they feel welcome in our schools?  Are they an active part of the student/teacher/parent triad?  Would it be useful for parents to advocate for pro-public education policies and laws at the state level?

§  Do we need more teacher leaders in schools, in the community, in policy-making, and in the evolution of the profession?  If so, how do we develop them?  Is teaching a true profession?  Or a craft?  A calling?  Just a job?  What should it be?  Why?

§  Consider this claim:  Passionate teaching, self-directed learning-by-doing, and the use of intrinsic motivation can begin Monday morning in any school at no extra cost.  Do you agree or not? Can we take steps to activate these ideas sooner than later?  Should we?

§ What other questions are unique to the issues in your school or community?


 6.  Follow-up

  • Wrap up panel/Q&A by with summary statement and gratitude.

  • Suggest follow-up action steps (see sample actions below).





  1. Housekeeping

  • Return DVD to:  Maverick-2-Mainstream Media, P.O. Box 1023, Marion, MA 02738

  • Please let us know how the screening went and what your next steps are!

 2.  Resources
Consider pausing the Credits at the end of PTT to study our Bibliography.  We particularly recommend the following references for both prospective and experienced educators:

  • Maurice Gibbons, The Self-Directed Learning Handbook.  2001.  The manual on SDL, moving and practical.  Gibbons penned the most reprinted Phi Delta Kappan article ever, “Walkabout:  Searching for the Right Passage from Childhood and School” (1974).

  • Robert L. Fried, The Passionate Teacher.  1995.  A passionate, principled, pragmatic planner.  Also see The Passionate Learner (2001) and The Game of Schooling (2005).

  • Jon Saphier et. al., The Skillful Teacher.  6th ed., 2008.  Saphier’s classic made its debut in 1979.  It is the comprehensive volume on the elements of a teacher’s repertoire.

  • Ann Lieberman, Teacher Learning and Leadership.  2016.  Lieberman is the foremost thinker on teacher leadership and the self-regulation of the profession.


We believe the following is a must-read for educators, parents, and community leaders:

  • Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error:  The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.  2013.  Ravitch is the nation’s preeminent historian of public education.  In 2011 she changed her mind 180° about top-down school reform.  Reign of Error is the fact-rich history of 21st c. reform endeavors.


 3.  Actions and assistance

  • Professional development and teacher leadership
    Use the film to develop teacher knowledge, skills, and leadership in these fields:

    §  Self-directed learning (K-12) and rites of passage to adulthood (high School)
    §  Learning-by-doing (project-based, experiential, hands-on learning)
    §  Real-world programs (simulations, guest speakers, field trips, etc.)
    §  Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, classroom management, and learning achievement
    §  Competence-based/multiple assessment options vs. one-size-fits-all tests
    §  Teacher leadership, profession-making, and values-based decision-making
    §  If you want assistance for any of the above professional/leadership development
        areas, contact Bart Nourse at (508.789.8963).


  • Community/school “talk shops” and task groups

    §  Communities who talk together can reach an empowering consensus about how to
        act together – in order to direct the course of their own public schools.
    §  “Talk Shops” feature groups of 12-15 participants (educators, parents, students,
         community members) who meet in living rooms around the community to maintain
         dialogue about local, state, and national educational issues.
    §  “Task Groups” act on these issues by planning:  presentations, surveys, charettes,
         community/school programs, program assessments, political initiatives, etc.


  • Political advocacy

    §  A self-regulated profession:  The PTT filmmakers believe that the professionalism of teaching, the vitality of local democracy, and the excellence of public education all require legislative initiatives, state by state, in order to combat teacher churn, the privatization of public education, and the erosion of educational excellence and equity.
    §  LWV:  Join our efforts to collaborate with the League of Women Voters to advocate both for and against the issues above.


  • Passion to Teach blogs and presentations

    §  Click here for blogs written by filmmaker and educator Bart Nourse.

      §  These blogs cover themes addressed by Dr. Nourse in a series of 18-20 talks.  


  4.  Online networks, columns, and blogs.  There are many, but here are our favorites:


  • Network for Public Education:
    “The Network for Public Education was founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch and Anthony Cody.  We are an advocacy group whose mission is to preserve, promote, improve and strengthen public schools for both current and future generations of students.  The goal of NPE is to connect all those who are passionate about our schools – students, parents, teachers and citizens.  We share information and research on vital issues that concern the future of public education at a time when it is under attack.”

  • Valerie Strauss column, “The Answer Sheet,” Washington Post:  For in-depth commentary by many opinion leaders on current issues of school reform and education policy.

  • Diane Ravitch blog:  The most followed education blog by the country’s leading educational historian.

  • Mercedes Schneider blog:  Schneider is a Louisiana high school teacher (with a Ph.D. in statistics and research methodology) and a prolific writer, having authored:  A Chronicle of Echoes:  Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education (2014); Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools? (2014); School Choice: The End of Public Education? (2016)

  • Peter Greene blog:  Colorful and insightful.  Greene teaches English in PA, and his blog “is about blowing off steam and standing up for public education.”  “The slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational ‘reform’ while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.”

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