Matt Damon defends Teachers.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 1, 2011
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Can I get an “amen”!?

Hero of the Day, via Reddit.

“maybe you’re a shitty camera man i don’t kn-”


My mom was a teacher. Teachers oughta be paid 150K plus, to start. When I’m President, we’ll make it so (easy to say, vital to do).

Enjoy. I did:

Footage from the 2011 SOS March. Matt Damon spoke. Matt Damon did interviews. Matt Damon defended teachers against a [expletive] cameraman!

PS: Reason, host of this video, is often unreasonable. And it was their cameraman, seems like? ~ W.

Update: Damon’s speech before the above:


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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


11 Responses to “Matt Damon defends Teachers.”

  1. […] This post was Twitted by kenching_mom […]

  2. Mary N says:

    thank you! I'm a teacher. I love it. It is the hardest job in the world, beside parenting. F*&^% the capitalist business model of education! Go Matt! Diane Ravitch rocks, too.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Update: below is Text of Speech he gave earlier. Context:

    I flew overnight from Vancouver to be with you today. I landed in New York a few hours ago and caught a flight down here because I needed to tell you all in person that I think you’re awesome.

    I was raised by a teacher. My mother is a professor of early childhood education. And from the time I went to kindergarten through my senior year in high school, I went to public schools. I wouldn’t trade that education and experience for anything.

    I had incredible teachers. As I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my curiosity — all come from how I was parented and taught.

    And none of these qualities that I’ve just mentioned — none of these qualities that I prize so deeply, that have brought me so much joy, that have brought me so much professional success — none of these qualities that make me who I am … can be tested.

    I said before that I had incredible teachers. And that’s true. But it’s more than that. My teachers were EMPOWERED to teach me. Their time wasn’t taken up with a bunch of test prep — this silly drill and kill nonsense that any serious person knows doesn’t promote real learning. No, my teachers were free to approach me and every other kid in that classroom like an individual puzzle. They took so much care in figuring out who we were and how to best make the lessons resonate with each of us. They were empowered to unlock our potential. They were allowed to be teachers.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I did have a brush with standardized tests at one point. I remember because my mom went to the principal’s office and said, ‘My kid ain’t taking that. It’s stupid, it won’t tell you anything and it’ll just make him nervous.’ That was in the ’70s when you could talk like that.

    I shudder to think that these tests are being used today to control where funding goes.

    I don’t know where I would be today if my teachers’ job security was based on how I performed on some standardized test. If their very survival as teachers was based on whether I actually fell in love with the process of learning but rather if I could fill in the right bubble on a test. If they had to spend most of their time desperately drilling us and less time encouraging creativity and original ideas; less time knowing who we were, seeing our strengths and helping us realize our talents.

    I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if that was the type of education I had. I sure as hell wouldn’t be here. I do know that.

    This has been a horrible decade for teachers. I can’t imagine how demoralized you must feel. But I came here today to deliver an important message to you: As I get older, I appreciate more and more the teachers that I had growing up. And I’m not alone. There are millions of people just like me.

    So the next time you’re feeling down, or exhausted, or unappreciated, or at the end of your rope; the next time you turn on the TV and see yourself called “overpaid;” the next time you encounter some simple-minded, punitive policy that’s been driven into your life by some corporate reformer who has literally never taught anyone anything. … Please know that there are millions of us behind you. You have an army of regular people standing right behind you, and our appreciation for what you do is so deeply felt. We love you, we thank you and we will always have your back.

  4. guest says:

    Seventy-five percent of California's community college teachers are adjuncts, forced to work the equivalent of two and sometimes three full – time teachers job but to spread this effort over several districts, earning less per hour than their for-real full-time peers, and called part-time. Any benefits they are offered will be so over-priced as to be largely unpractical and in-name-only beneficial. Most of the adjuncts who worked with me under these conditions are gone. Most couldn't take it after only a couple of years. The students suffer. Got common sense? California could use some.

  5. Love it! And love his comment at the end: "Maybe you're a sh*tty cameraman!" haha! I think the recent documentary "Waiting for Superman" (which was informative, and provocative, and worth seeing…) raised a lot of issues about tenure, bad teachers, etc. but I believe it is far from being the norm. I think for many people the takeway point of the movie was that there are many terrible teachers out there sitting around doing nothing because they have tenure. A more important take away point might have been that it is time to empower our teachers, reward them when they are doing a great job, and VALUE THEM!!

    Taylor Mali has a great take on this too:

  6. […] Part II: in defense of teachers. Here’s an almost-as-awesome part I. […]

  7. Adele says:

    Love it, true, true, true 🙂

  8. […] This post was Twitted by ifilmbands […]

  9. Laura says:

    Love it! Thank you!! Teachers deserve all the respect (and good pay) in the world. Kids are our future. I truly value and appreciate my teachers in public school, music and dance classes. They made a huge difference in my life.

  10. Indeed. I have a close friend who is a teacher and it is one of the toughest jobs. The sheer number of people you have to deal with, the students, their parents who blame you for the lack of the children's success, the other teachers and your boss. To be a teacher you must genuinely want to be a teacher for as Matt Damon also pointed out, the pay is less than adequate! Well said!

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