Durham educator creates documentary to help newer teachers during COVID-19 pandemic

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — For the past 20 years teaching has been a big part of Evette Rawls’ life.

“My passion and my love are for new teachers,” Rawls said.

Her passion to help new teachers is what led the Neal Middle School teacher to put together what ended up being a virtual summit for educators last year.

“[However] I realized that I still wanted to make sure that the teachers, the new teachers, voices were heard,” Rawls said.

So, Rawls pulled out her iPhone and started shooting interviews.

“I just wanted to get the voices of new teachers. I want to hear them. Not me. I’ve been in the game,” she said.

Rawls started shooting it last year — eventually collecting enough content. The next step was getting help putting it together.

“She presented the idea and was like ‘I’ve been recording on my phone’ and immediately I was like, ‘eh.’ Because he [LeDarius] hates iPhone footage. But I was like this story is so important,” said Amineh Johnny.

Johnny and LeDarius Hicks own Queen and Company Production in Raleigh. Rawls met Johnny during a conference for moms.

“I know the story of teachers is really close and personal for both of us. Both of our parents were teachers,” said Johnny.

With additional footage and work, in roughly a month, a documentary was born.

It’s called, Dear New Teacher: Teaching During the Pandemic Documentary.

A private screening was held this week at Durham Arts Council. Rawls said she plans to start working on part two of the documentary soon.

The goal is to eventually get the documentary on a streaming service.

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