Pollen Counts and The Mitchell 20

Pollen counts and the mitchell 20My original plan was to continue the fiery debate from my last post, but a strange thing happened last week.  I shed a tear while watching a movie.

No, I wasn’t crying.  I’m a guy and you’ve already read about my fully stocked man card.  Aside from that one moment in Old Yeller, guys don’t cry in movies.  In this case, it was clearly just allergies. Probably from the theater seats, or some stray pollen on the bottom of my shoes.

The allergen-attracting film was “The Mitchell 20,” a powerful documentary about a group of teachers committed to excelling in their profession for the benefit of students who, statistically speaking, have little chance of ever seeing a graduation stage.  This group refuses to accept those odds and the film expertly chronicles their attempts to achieve National Board Certification against the daunting odds of their own.

As you get to know these 20 determined people, you develop an emotional investment.  You find yourself truly pulling for these teachers and, in turn, for the future of their students.  And, as a National Board Survivor myself, I know how private the moment is when you receive your scores. These teachers allowed cameras to chronicle those moments, and they are truly heartbreaking.

But, they are also invigorating, inspiring, and tear-inducing.

Well, not for me.  I wasn’t crying.  Like I said, it was allergies.

I’m guessing there were dust mites in the red carpet provided for the premiere.



Mike Lee

Mike Lee

Phoenix, Arizona

I am the Director of Outreach and Engagement for The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and certified as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2004. In 2012, I received my doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, however, I began my work in education serving as a para-educator in a special education program while still an undergraduate. My passions in the field include assessment and reporting strategies, the evolving role of technology, teacher leadership, and effective professional development that permanently impacts instruction. I consider myself a professional teacher first, as well as a professionally evolving lifelong learner, who is incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to impact the lives of children.

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