Actor Matt Damon, one of our leading figures in film for the past decade and more, has come out in strong support of the teaching profession, delivering a masterful speech at a gathering of educators held in Washington, DC on Saturday.
At a Save Our Schools March in the capital, Damon denounced those who say that giving tenure to teachers promotes laziness, and said teachers are what they are because they LOVE teaching, certainly not for the low pay and terrible conditions of work that many face, with little backing by administrators, parents, and the politicians in many states who abuse teachers and show lack of respect for their profession!
Damon’s own mother is a teacher, and the actor made it clear that what he became and his level of success is due to the dedication of teachers who inspire their students and have often a greater effect on them than their own parents!
Damon criticized standardized testing as stifling originality, creativity, and curiosity in students, and bringing unnecessary stress and tension to young people, instead of encouraging them. The job security of teachers should not be based on such tests, which unfortunately, is now the case in many states, particularly those governed by Republicans!
Damon also endorsed PUBLIC schools, which were his experience, and said millions of Americans support their teachers and will always have their back.
As a lifelong educator, this strong statement thrills me, and reinforces why I have been an educator, preferring to educate the young, than just make tons of money backing evil corporations who have no concern for their workers and the American people, and only worship money and things, not the rights of people to a dignified life and decent treatment at work!