This past weekend’s Save Our Schools march in D.C. brought out scores of people to demonstrate their disapproval of Congressional cuts to education. One of those people was actor Matt Damon, whose mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, is an early childhood education professor. (And apparently the person who gave him that sexy mouth.) Reason.tv pitched him some simplistic conservative talking points, to which he responded quite rationally. So rationally, in fact, that they had to intercut some footage of him crying on a teacher in a movie because IF YOU LOVE TEACHERS SO MUCH WHY DON’T YOU MARRY THEM, MATT DAMON?
His whole speech really bears reading, but basically, he talked about what his teachers meant to him growing up, and the great disservice you do to everyone involved when you force teachers to teach to a test instead of feeling out what kinds of lessons work best for the particular kids in their classes. He ended with this:
So the next time youâ€™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 â€śoverpaid;â€ť the next time you encounter some simple-minded, punitive policy thatâ€™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.
I’m pretty sure teachers love you too, Matt Damon.
Related: The summer I taught SAT prep was one of the most demoralizing summers of my life. I have serious respect for anyone who can get up at 6am and face a classroom of unruly kids every day. Just thinking about it is making me anxious all over again. Hooray for teachers!