A teacher’s passion. A musician’s voice. A family’s journey.
Special education teacher Konrad Wert was a great teacher. In fact, he was awarded Teacher of the Year for his district in 2012. But like many educators, he was struggling with the workload. He was putting in 50-60 hours of work, and his family life was suffering. So Wert decided to take a break from teaching.
He had another passion. Wert, a part-time musician, was known by the stage name of Possessed by Paul James. So in 2015, he and his family decided to roll the dice. Wert quit his job as a teacher, and he, his partner Jenny, their two kids, and their dog went on tour.
The traveled from state-to-state in 26 foot RV playing shows and spreading a message about the overwhelming strain on teachers in the United States.
But Wert and his family had company. Also in that RV was filmmaker Todd Tue. Tue shoehorned himself and his camera gear into the RV with Wert and his family.
“Intimate is a very polite word for it,” said Tue laughingly.
Along for the ride, Tue was able to capture the meaningful conversations Wert was having with fellow educators. He documented Wert as he engaged with teachers, parents, and audiences in a discussion about the current state of Special Education and the epidemic of Teacher Burnout.
On May 4th, Tue releases his documentary titled When it Breaks. In it, Wert must decide how his service is most effective. As an advocating artist or as a teacher in the classroom?
In Episode 149 of Class Dismissed, we interview Todd Tue about why he felt so strongly about telling Wert’s story. You can find Class Dismissed in your favorite podcast app or on iTunes.
To watch When it Breaks visit whenitbreaks.com
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