CBS' 'Teach': Four hero teachers making an impact on kids

davis-guggenheim-teach-cbs.jpgThe actions of teachers unions - whether protecting bad teachers, protesting against politicians (or marching for them), and promoting education "reforms" that often seem more about social issues than the three Rs -- often capture the interest of the media, overshadowing the day-to-day work of teachers trying to do the best job they can.

In 2010, filmmaker Davis Guggenheim directed and co-wrote "Waiting for Superman," a documentary that took a frank look at the failures of the American educational system as it showed parents trying to get their children in charter schools.

Much of the media attention for the film focused on a segment that showed how teachers unions fiercely protect political alliances and policies and teachers' job security, often at the expense of needed financial overhauls.

In a two-hour special called "Teach," airing Friday, Sept. 6, on CBS, Guggenheim puts the focus back on exceptional teachers, following four public-school instructors through the 2012-2013 school year.

The special also kicks off an 18-month campaign by production company Participant Media, in partnership with, to urge students and recent graduates to go into teaching.

"I believe teachers are heroes and have the ability to make an incredible impact in the long-term future of our kids," says Guggenheim in a statement. "The airing of 'Teach' on CBS is another milestone in Participant's long-term commitment to raise the visibility of the teaching profession and support efforts to recruit the next generation of great educators."

•The teachers profiled are: Matt Johnson, a fourth-grade teacher at McGlone Elementary School in Denver; Shelby Harris, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grade math at Kuna Middle School in Kuna, Idaho; 10th-grade AP world-history teacher Joel Laguna at Garfield High in Los Angeles; and Lindsay Chinn, a ninth-grade algebra teacher at MLK Early College, Denver.

•All the educators featured strive for excellence, using conventional and unconventional methods.
Photo/Video credit: Newscom