Audience Comments


“This is a MUST-MUST-MUST-MUST see for any student, teacher, parent, politician concerned about the future. It is one the best, challenging, uplifting and encouraging movie I have ever seen. Just wanted to say AGAIN that is a MUST-MUST -MUST see!” Randy Lukasiewicz, Omaha, Nebaska

“As a teacher, I must tell you how struck I was by the film as a whole, but mostly by your interactions with students. It was so clear to see just how much you respected and cared for those children.  I appreciated the firm-yet-loving way you dealt with each child and I learned a great deal from watching your classroom community grow and change throughout the course of a school year.“  Kate Umstatter, New York, NY

“WOW. This film changed my life, period. As an educator and the son of an educator, I am forever deepened! Thank you for bringing these children into conversation with THEIR world so beautifully.” Nate Adams, Denver CO

“I am so glad I came across the film about your amazing school on PBS. I actually became a little choked up…Hope stirred in my heart. Yes, this is the way to true learning! We need to allow children to explore, use all their senses, problem solve, understand community, and so much more! We must help create creative minds.”  Elisa Holmes, Stockton CA

“The film conveyed the spirit and the energy and the love that permeated everything there.  It also documented the struggles and ups and downs that go on in any living situation, in any community, in any family.  I am going to order the film and hope to show it to some of my friends who either have young children and/or who are still out there teaching in these difficult times for our education systems throughout much of the country.”Peggy Rothschild, retired teacher, Newton Centre, MA

“I stumbled upon your documentary on a pbs channel and was amazed by it! I live in Florida, a suburb of Tampa, and haven’t had any experiences in an open school such as the one chronicled in your film. I took out my notebook from class tonight and even took notes…I intern in the spring and just wanted to express to you how much your film inspired and excited me!”  Jen Parenti, teacher in training

“I just finished watching your film on pbs. Loved it! I cried thinking my children need a loving teacher like you! What an awesome classroom!  Thanks for the inspiration and the encouragement!!  Kelly Nussbaum

“What a wonderful documentary. I just wanted to write and thank you and your husband for bringing this story to life. Thank you. My words can not adequately express how important I find teachers who are able to fuel a child’s desire to learn.” Andre McGarry

“It was an honor having you with us. I am hopeful our paths will cross again and again!” Chris Collaros, Principal, Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School Upper Arlington City School District, Ohio after a screening and workshops for parents and teachers

“I went to a screening of your documentary August through June and was blown away by how similar your classroom was to my elementary school experience and your ability to be both an effective mentor and teacher to these children. I am a strong believer in progressive education and believe it molded me in to the woman I am today.”  Olivia Rojas, Columbus OH

“Your documentary was awesome and eye opening. I come from Texas public schools and there the standardized tests are or were called the TAAS test. We were required to take it all 3 years of middle school and so we learned nothing besides how to pass those tests. The form of teaching your school displayed was amazing.”  Matt Patillo, Little Rock AR

“While watching it, I became so attached to your students… I can’t imagine how you’ve affected those children in 10 months….when you’ve inspired me so much in an hour!Jeanifer Brewer, Central Michigan after seeing the TV version

“My son Lucas (10 yrs old – 5th grade) and I were home this weekend cleaning doing homework prepping for halloween and saw your program on PBS.  He says…mom I wish she was my teacher so I can learn all those things she is teaching those kids.  Thanks for making me step back and NOT judge his intelligence on grades but see the BIG picture.” Yoli and Lucas, Chicago IL

“The film definitely asks the question: ‘How do we want to teach ?’ To me, it also asks the question: ‘In what kind of a society do we want to live?‘ ” Gabriel Pannwitz, Berlin, Germany

“I discovered the film “August to June”. It looks great.” Jorge Raedo, Arquitectura Educativa UAM, Ludantia and Osa Menor, Bogata Columbia

“Had a great discussion at our screening of the movie in Des Moines, Iowa tonight. It was great to see the film as a beautiful counterpoint to the test based accountability reforms our governor is pushing. Opened many minds tonight to what is possible for our kids!Andrew Rasmussen, Des Moines Education Association

“Over 100 attended a showing in Huntsville, Alabama this evening. Wonderful discussion followed the film.” Sherri Naff, director of The Country Day School, Huntsville, AL

“The film is so lovely, with such hope that it makes me cry every time I see it! Tom’s beautiful and intimate cinematography really captures all the emotion.” Susan Caruso, Sunflower Creative Arts, Boca Raton FL

“I asked, as a school counselor, how they felt about all of your interventions with the kids and the comments were that it was great, but that in classrooms here the reality is that you don’t get that kind of time and it is more hearing “Timmy pushed me” “OK, sorry that happened” and not really being able to deal with it in the manner that you did.

The general consensus I believe is that while the open classroom you so lovingly conveyed is far from the reality that most of these folks will have, there was a lot for them to take away in terms of going outside the box to teach the whole child even within the confines of our standardized testing environment and I guess that’s basically what you were hoping to convey so…success.” Caleb Fitzpatrick, reporting back on a screening at Purdue University, Lafayette, IN

“The film was so beautiful...I laughed, I joke! How do we get this going for every teacher in every classroom!!!!!” Amanda Burros, Somerville, MA

“Thanks so much for inviting us to do the screening and for helping us through the process. I got such positive feedback about the film, the panels, and the audience discussion, I can’t imagine things having gone much better.” “… It was an honor to hear (the) stories, to host Amy and Tom’s fabulous film, to meet those I hadn’t met before, and to spend the evening in the company of so many committed, caring friends and neighbors wishing and working to make the world a better place.” Maria West, Somerville, MA

“Our thanks and appreciations go out to Amy and Tom for showing their beautiful film, August to June, at the Open School here in Colorado. A good film should deepen one’s experience, and that’s exactly what it did. Staff at the school tell me that it has sparked many important discussions about teaching, advising and the integration of all the things we deem important for our children to learn and experience.” Rick Posner, Lakewood, CO

“After we screened August To June, Boynton, Boca Democratic Party Movie Night presenters said in all their years of doing this had they never seen an audience response so serene.  People wanted to stay. No one was angry.  Conversations that never occurred did so after this viewing.  People who had known each other for years discovered commonalities that previously they did not know existed. When this was shared I asked for any theories.  The response, in unison, August To June is warm.  It touches people.  Real life school situations gave the audience hope not only for what could be, but already is.  People were reminded of good times and the challenges that helped them grow greater.  As a Teacher, Amy taught as I think wise to live. Reciprocal reverence.”  Betsy L. Angert, Boca Raton, Florida

“…the film’s ever-present focus on the “big picture” of education (and life!) was much appreciated here and provided lots of talking points.  In particular, we really liked seeing how you conferenced with parents (e.g., paraphrased:  ‘In a few more years, none of you will even remember who the early readers and late readers were’), the overall approach to literacy (holistically focused rather than merely skills-focused), the ample time you provided to social growth/experiences/conflict resolution, and the fact that you did not choose to hide those moments where you, as a teacher, needed to separate or redirect children when disruptive.  There is a whole, whole, whole lot more that I wish to say…  It is sad to know that this marked your retirement, but very heart-warming to know that your school carries on.” Finbar Burke, Discovery International School, Japan

“I am a 15 year public school teacher, now home-mom to two boys.  I didn’t know what to expect tonight when I came to the movie, but after seeing “Waiting for Superman” I was ready for something a bit more productive…I have to say that I took a break from education, as I saw that I couldn’t be the kind of teacher I wanted to be. Watching you teach was a true gift to me… a reminder of what a master teacher looks like, and a reminder that one person CAN make a difference.

I just want to share with you what I took away from the movie and what I found to be the most touching and intriguing part for me.  The way you show the importance of the social/emotional piece in educating children is beautiful. BRAVO to you for drawing attention to a huge piece of what is missing in our educational system, and I believe greater society.  Taking the time to be conscious, caring citizens of a community is something that teachers are unable to fully nurture with the other demands on their time. I believe that this film can make a difference. You will make a difference.” S.W. San Rafael, CA

Seeing the film had an effect, I think, on all of us at the school. It certainly made us think. It has definitely led me to reflect on my practice, on what annoys me and what doesn’t when I’m with my students. I wish we had the garden, the chickens and … the SPACE. But, hey, we also have to make do with what we have in a city-environment with tiny rooms, and there’s already a lot we can do. Anyway, thanks to both of you for making life alive in this beautiful piece of work.” Alain Buchheit, teacher, Ecole Aujourd’hui, Paris, France

“After watching your video, I feel reinvigorated that what I am doing is not in vain.” Eleshia Smith, graduate student, DePaul University Chicago, IL

“You wouldn’t think that a film that’s just a bunch of kids in a classroom would be so interesting!” Abi Kohn (14) Cambridge, MA

We profited immensely from your work through just the first viewing – we were all left with strong impressions that will certainly remain with us. We will certainly use the movie in the future in many different ways.” Laura Loder-Buchel Zurich/Schaffhausen University of Teacher Education, Switzerland: