While this may sound cliched and like every other educational special, this is far from the truth with "Teach."
Produced by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim, who gave viewers an up-close look at parent/student anxiety in the excellent documentary “Waiting for Superman,” "Teach" turns the cameras from students to teachers this go-around and shows that many teachers face similar anxiety, worrying endlessly if they're truly providing their students with the foundation that these young people will need to meet their goal of pursuing higher education.
By using new teaching techniques, these educators seek to shift the learning paradigm to focus more on individual student needs. Of particular interest is a school that is experimenting with a new process called "360 degree math" and another that is incorporating online learning to enhance the in-classroom experience.
Tracking whether these new methods actually work provides much of the drama in "Teach."
The special is hosted and narrated by Queen Latifah, herself the daughter of a teacher, and several celebrities are sprinkled throughout talking about their favorite teachers. These include Jon Cryer ("Two and Half Men"), Anna Faris and Allison Janney ("Mom"), Jerry O’Connell ("We Are Men"), Paul George from the Indiana Pacers, as well as Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“HitRECord on TV!,”) and Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation”).
While some of "Teach" may feel a bit like 'career day' by encouraging viewers to become involved in the education system, this is not without good reason as it's estimated that within the next 10 years, 50 percent of America’s teachers will be eligible for retirement.
Hopefully, many bold, forward-thinking individuals will step up to ensure that the education system continues to strive to create new, engaging methods to nuture young minds.
“Teach” debuts tonight on CBS from 8-10pm et/pt, with an encore premiere on Pivot September 18th.