Matt Damon stands up for teachers, slams reporter, all while bald

Just in case repeat viewings of The Bourne Identity on TNT didn’t remind you at least once a week: Matt Damon is one serious bad-ass who is not to be messed with. Because if you do (particularly if you happen to be a reporter armed with a politically provoking question), he will bring the pain.

Case in point: Over the weekend, Damon — who has recently gone bald for his role in the upcoming Neill Blomkamp film Elysium — attended the 2011 Save Our Schools rally in Washington. While there, a Reason TV reporter began to ask the Oscar-winner — who attended the event with his mother, a teacher — a question by implying that teachers should be driven by the same job insecurity that drives him and other actors to work so hard. To put it delicately, Damon was not amused by this query and didn’t let it slide. Watch the full, albeit fairly NSFW (the star has some choice words), clip below as Damon lays down some knowledge.

Perhaps he’s just being his typical outspoken self, or maybe he felt compelled to defend his mother’s profession, which is under attack from several conservative governors around the country. But like Bryan Cranston, Telly Savalas, and Michael Chiklis, Bald Matt Damon is much more persuasive than Hair Matt Damon. When the cameraman suggests “Ten percent of teachers are bad” an annoyed Damon shoots back, “Maybe you’re a sh—y camera man, I don’t know!” Boom! Don’t ask us why there’s a random clip of Good Will Hunting infused in there that isn’t the classic “How do ya like them apples?” scene.

What did you think of Matt Damon’s reaction to the reporter, PopWatchers? Let us know in the comments section below. C’mon, don’t make us send Damon after you.

Read more:
Matt Damon gets ‘mid-career’ achievement award
Lunchtime Poll: What’s troubling Matt Damon?
Boldly Bald: 10 Hairless Hotties!

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  • Rachel

    LOVE. THIS. I love that Matt Damon doesn’t even let his mom answer the question, and I love that he makes a point to tell them that he works hard because he loves what he does and he WANTS to be an actor. Good for him.

    • abadstroller

      Actually, Matt didn’t stop his mom from talking: Mrs. Damon started to answer the question, and Matt jumped right in to take on the “reporter”. Matt’s mom just stopped talking and let Matt speak (the boy had a head of steam going), all the while smiling that sweet proud mom smile as she listened to her son colorfully “schooling” that clueless microphone holder and her equally numbskulled cameraman. Good on ya, Matt!

      • Tim

        Matt Damon is just another clueless Hollywood socialist. If he doesn’t want the tax cut, why doesn’t he use it to hire someone? That’ll do more good than getting on a soap box and being mean to a lady who’s just trying to do her job.

      • Pitchy Dawg

        The Superman movie was pretty much a slam job on teachers unions, paid for by the charter schools. It neglects statistics such as how states with teachers unions are pretty much the top half of the U.S. education system while those without are the bottom half … or that charter schools aren’t the miracle drug they’re sold to be … or how the real reason behind the push to get rid of the union isn’t to “get rid of bad teachers” it’s so they can fire teachers who have experience (and often are darn good) but make too much for the bottom line – they can get two Teach For America interns for the same price, nevermind how inexperienced and ineffective many new teachers are. Want proof? Just look at the charters. Have they used their freedom from unions to “pay the good teachers more”??? Do they get rid of bad teachers or costly teachers that impact their for-profit bottom line?

      • Ryan

        Teachers should be held to the same standard as workers in any other field. No one should be able to hide behind tenure and no one should be guaranteed a job for life.

      • Bill

        Tim, it appears that your objection is not to the soapbox, but to the label on it. Did it occur to you that part of this lady’s job might be unfairly painting teachers with a broad and nasty brush? Teaching is a job too. Additionally, we’re all a bit socialist. Or did you personally pay for the construction and maintenance of every road and sidewalk you’ve travelled? And Damon doesn’t want a tax cut, because he wants to pay his taxes. Taxes help the indebted government of the United States run, so that it can perform its functions and meet its obligations. And government functions are performed by people who generally are paid to perform them. It’s a “We the People” thing.

    • Ann

      Who is this clueless reporter? has she thought mmaybe she is bad at her job.

      • abadstroller

        I know I thought it, Ann.

      • Pitchy Dawg

        Or did she bother to know a little bit about her subject – such as how the union she is trying to slam of the teachers can only wish they were as powerful as the screen actors guild, which Mr. Damon is a part of and hence has more of a fallback than any type of tenure?

      • Elizabeth

        Uh, she’s with Reason TV, where have you been?

      • Lea

        She’s undoubtedly under contract, so it won’t matter for a few years, anyway. Ironic, ain’t it?

      • yndo

        …and if she is bad at her job, she gets fired. If a teacher is bad at their job, they get reassigned. If you give someone unlimited job security, do you think they will work harder or less hard?

    • Miss Bliss

      Oprah had the same attitude towards teachers for the first 23 years of her show. Then she had the guy that directed “Waiting for Superman” on her show. I could tell her attitude towards teachers changed a little. 20/20 had a program on a couple of years ago about teachers and the process to get a bad one fired. They had a print out that was about 15 feet long on the steps it took to fire a bad teacher. The teachers union defended it. (A lot of problems some people have with teachers stems from not being able to get rid of the bad ones no matter how many there are.) They also compared teacher salaries in major cities to those of people in another profession with similar education (I think it was accounting) and salaries were very similar.) I’m curious to hear from teachers what they think about the movie and how it portrayed teachers.

      • Amber

        I haven’t seen that 20/20 piece, but I’d be curious to see in what state that 15 foot print out is applicable. Here in TX you can be non-renewed (fired) for simply having a personality conflict with your principal. I’m not saying that there aren’t bad teachers out there, but our job security is not what everybody thinks.

      • abadstroller

        OW still admires teachers…the good and great ones. Like most of us, she has no time for lousy educators and short-sighted adminstrators or pin-heads (union or anti-union). OW has never dissed teachers as a whole; she admires and supports them. That’s why “Waiting for Superman” appeared to make such an impact on her and those who care about educating children.

    • Ryan

      Wow. The South Park guys pegged him right. He might as well run around and yell his own name. What a tool.

      • John

        The only reason those guys made the Matt Damon puppet sound retarded was because of the way the puppet ended up looking, not because they were making fun of him.

  • stacey

    Bravo Matt!

    • somet

      Way to go out on a limb Matt. Teachers are so special, blah blah blah.

      • joe

        He has stated that the gross points on his next movie with be going to the teachers, no? I’m sure his kids go to public school. no? I’m sure your a sh@t! camera man, that’s right Matt show people how to bully. a$$ hat.

      • jules

        Flunked out, did we?

      • Ryan

        Matt Damon should stick to acting instead of trying to be the next Norma Rae. The reporter made a good point and he started spewing union dribble.

        Yeah Matt, there are no bad teachers. If you want to be a teacher, then you are perfect and automatically motivated.

      • DDubSolider

        I’m homeschooled so I don’t give a flying apple.

    • jmo

      Both my mom and sister are teachers, both love their job, both get sh*tty pay and both wish the system would work better. If it takes a news story involving Matt Damon to get some attention to teachers, I’m all for it.

  • Becky

    Matt Damon freaking rules. And so does his Mom for raising him to be so well-spoken.

    • Ryan

      LOL. Damon is nothing but a bully. He can’t even sustain a debate without hurling insults.

      Hey Matt, if the cameraman is sh***y then he wouldn’t have a job. That is the whole point. LMAO when I heard him say that.

      • Ames

        In what country do you live in where only people who are competent in their profession are employed?

      • Ryan

        @Ames – Most people who perform poorly in their work (or in Damon’s words are “shi**y” at what they do) don’t get to keep their job. If you didn’t know that, you must have a government job.

      • John

        I love how all the little conservative and libertarian trolls are calling Matt Damon the bully who attacked these poor, innocent, idealistic objectivists because they happened to be right and smart. “Typical liberal, typical socialist, typical guy who doesn’t agree with me,” blah blah blah. In case you weren’t watching the same video, the innocent reporter approached HIM, asked HIM in front of his teacher mother to basically agree with her that teachers don’t deserve job security. Then she incorrectly compared it to his job, which has a union, and his motivation for doing that job (“Incentives”) to drive the point home. And he called her out for it. What an evil liberal bully. And by the way, the reason he said “Maybe you’re a sh**ty cameraman” is because the cameraman explained that 10% of teachers should be fired because “10% of people are terrible at their jobs.”

        I actually do think a lot of teachers’ unions are corrupt and need reform, but if you disagree with Matt Damon’s politics or just this specific issue then try to keep one foot in reality when you’re making your point.

      • Bill

        Ryan, do you see the logic wormhole you’ve fallen into? Very few people who are bad at their jobs are perceived as such by the employer or hirer at the time of the hire. It’s usually determined at some point after the hire, generally to the employer’s disappointment, that the employee is bad at his/her job. The fact that an employee has a job at a given point in time does not mean that this person is not bad at his/her job. And sometimes people who are bad at their jobs are hired with fulll knowledge of this by employers, and they do sometimes get to keep their jobs, due to negligent employers, cronyism, nepotism, stupidity of the electorate, etc. What I’d like to know is, what makes the anti-teacher contingent believe that bad teachers are a disproportionately high percentage of their profession in relation to bad employees in most other professions? There are few professions, even ones that provide important services, which only take “the best of the best of the best”.

  • Henry

    I’d say he’s misinformed … I had a teacher who not only was a holocaust denier (we were forbidden to write research papers on the Holocaust) but refused to teach us grammar, saying it was unnecessary if you read enough books. I had another teacher who told us that since the class was a graduation requirement, she would only teach us the basics of American history. Teachers can be ridiculous & idiotic and their bad decisions can have far-reaching consequences.

    • abadstroller

      Most teachers–and, yes, I do have friends, acquaintances, and family who teach–are not in it for the money, or for summers off, or because it’s a cake-easy job. They buy supplies and incentives (books, trinkets, treats) for their students out of their own pockets. They argue with the school board and administration to take their kids on field trips. They advocate for their kids in and out of the classroom. They attend their students’ dance recitals, plays, and sporting events on their own time and resources. Maybe, Henry, you had crappy teachers and I’m sorry if that might have been so, but I believe that most of the people who go into the profession (and that’s what it is) do so for the love of learning and passing it on to upcoming generations. I DIDN’T become a teacher–not because I don’t believe in the nobleness of the profession or because I’m not intelligent or empathetic enough–but because I am humbled by the passion and resolve of the good and great ones who do teach. I knew then, as I do now, that I don’t have the courage and dedication to work with impressionable young minds knowing that I could make a lasting impact on the rest of their lives AND knowing that there are people–like you, Henry–who would not respect my career choice and sincerity of purpose. I’m not brave enough to be able to stand up to anyone who would call me “just a teacher”.

      • ag

        As the daughter, sister, niece, and friend of teachers and as a teacher myself–Thank You! I definitely did not get into teaching for the fame and fortune (my starting salary was $21,000 and it’s not much higher four years later). I became a teacher because I love music and I wanted to share that love of music with my students. There are definitely long and challenging days, but watching a student enjoy making music makes the challenges worthwhile. I honestly can’t imagine choosing any other profession.

      • abadstroller

        You rock, AG! I KNOW that there are children whose lives you are definitely making better. They–and you–may not know the extent of it now…but they WILL. And you may not ever hear the “thank you” in person, but those young people will ALWAYS see you in their mind’s eye when they think of the one who taught them to love music for the first time.

      • Fresh

        THANK YOU! As a 15-year veteran of the teaching profession I have worked hard to educate my students. I love what I do, and I do it because I love it! I know most of my colleagues feel exactly the same way.

      • abadstroller

        I’m STILL looking for the job and career that I could love as much as those of you who love teaching! I’d doff my hat to you (if I looked good in hats) ladies and gentlemen who inspire and are inspired by students: I’m truly jealous of your passion for what you do.

      • Zzzzzzz

        I am a retired ElEd teacher watching my daughter teach special education at high school level. The kids she has are needing just a little help but have suffered enough thru school to have the world’s biggest chips on their shoulders. When she talks to me and is reduced to tears it is not the kids or their parents that have deminished her…it’s the administration and school district who have tied her hands or have not provided adequate funding for her students’ needs. Yes…money for supplies come from her pockets just as they did mine.

      • Danielle

        Argue with the school boards to take students on field trips? $21,000 per year? You can’t extrapolate your own experience or opinion on the entire country. During my entire public school career, I lived nine miles from Washington, DC and we were NEVER taken on a field trip. Not once, and this was before the recession hit. This was in a district in which some of the high school teachers made more than $100,000 per year. $57,000 is the average across the country. Go ahead- look it up! Just because you as an individual are not making enough (and I highly doubt the $21,000 quote) doesn’t mean that every other teacher is underpaid.

      • Michael

        @Danielle How does one look up 9 miles from Washington DC?

      • Danielle

        Go to Bing, click on “Maps”, then “Get Directions”. Put in Alexandria, Va in Box A, then Washington, DC in Box B, then select “Get Directions”. Turns out it is 6.6 miles. Since I drove it many a times, I used memory from DC to my home, instead of Bing, which is why there is a discrepancy. But you get the idea- a 30 minute drive (yes, it takes awhile to drive 6.6 miles in the DC area) and yet no field trips. My point is, don’t tell me all teachers are doing something, or most are doing something, when you are doing it. Like I said, don’t extrapolate your own experiences on the entire country. Look at statistics (which I have done here in another post and which still people argue with) and when they are not available, realize that your own experience or opinion is not always the case across the board (as with the case of the field trips).

      • Sam

        Just because you went to a school that didn’t budget for field trips and still managed to turn you into a smart person, you also can’t put your experience out there as the example. According to average teachers salary in Alexandria is $64k. AG didn’t say where she lives, but average in Virginia is $54k, music teacher average in Virginia $43k.
        According to the national average for total pay is between $25,796 and $62,298. Yes – a beginning music teacher four years ago probably did get $21K and though she wished for more money her students got all the support she could give them.

      • Ryan

        Teachers should be held to the same standards as professionals in any other field. You have to weed out the underperforming teachers in order to get the best possible education for our young people.

      • ag

        @Danielle–I did not say my experiences were the same as all other teachers and I’m sorry that you doubt my starting salary. I didn’t believe it either when I first heard it. I teach at small Catholic school in Nebraska, so as a result, my salary is below average. (The public schools where I interviewed were offering around $28,000.) However, as I said, that wasn’t why I became a teacher. All school systems have their pros and cons. Your school was unable to offer field trips. That is unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean that you had bad or uncaring teachers. The good teachers do the best they can with what they have. Sometimes that means buying supplies with your own money and sometimes that might mean making do without field trips.

      • Danielle

        $64,000- yes, but you don’t have all the facts, here, my friend. EVERY teacher @ my school was given the opportunity to teach summer school for considerable pay and many are offered adjunct positions in the many community colleges and universities in the area. This also adds considerably to their income. Many teachers were making more than $100,000 per year without having to work overtime outside of the generous summer vacation allowed them (and it has to be generous in order for summer school to take place and teachers be capable of working there). Not everybody, but everyone that decided to take advantage of the opportunities guaranteed them. Most of the cars in the teacher parking lot were high brand models, such as Lexus and Mercedes. Most teachers take sabbaticals that are not available to other professions. If they are so poorly paid, how are they capable of affording this entire year off? I don’t know many people who could accomplish this. Lets look at the facts- $57,000 is average across the country. The average working hours per week are reduced in comparison to other jobs, just as the average number of working weeks per year. Are there some very good teachers out there who do bust their bums to educate kids- absolutely, and my hat is off to those! But the fact of the matter is that those good teachers are not in danger if tenure is done away with and their salary is fair when it is compared to other professions with the same level of degree and considering the work hours put in by the average teacher. What you are stating about me is exactly what I have been saying- look at facts, not at a couple sob stories that may or may not be true. I was pointing out that the there are stories on the other side as well. Look, I have had great teachers and I have had teachers who have been drunk and fallen asleep in class (and I have known teachers who need to be in jail for the rest of their lives for what they did to their students, but I understand that this is an anomaly). The point is- reward good teachers, get rid of the bad, stop suggesting that teachers are overworked and underpaid. I am not suggesting we pay them less, but stop claiming poverty when there is none.

      • Danielle

        BTW, I forgot this tidbit. I became educated (appreciate it, btw) not by the school system. Most of the reason is because I spent some time in a homeschooling situation unlearning some of the ridiculous things the public school taught me. I know this because I am required to read papers written by third year undergraduates. Someone actually wrote “peoples need to be watching their chiles” and on another forum a college graduate wrote that “vleenteering” was more important than grades to get into college (obviously, but also, this is a sad fact). Too often, many public school teachers think that their political fluff IS education. Those types DO need to be eliminated or retrained.

      • Lyndsey

        Danielle, at my first teaching job (a private school) I made $750 a month! Yes you read that correctly, $750 a month! That was the average salary of all teachers there. Obviously, we weren’t in it for the money or even the vacation time!
        I became a teacher by chance but wound up loving it! There’s nothing in the world that I love more than teaching history. I’ve been unable to work period since my car accident but I can’t wait until I’m healthy enough to go back.
        As far as being “overworked & underpaid” goes, that’s true of every great teacher I know! I discovered very quickly that you work ten times as hard as a teacher than as a student. Teaching is not just a “9-5″ job. We’re the first ones there & the last to leave. We have to take our work home with us because there’s precious little time during the day at school to grade a couple hundred tests and papers. Plus we have lesson plans to fill out (one of the most tedious parts of our job that’s required) plus we have to make out a fair test. Then there’s helping the students who are struggling. The good teachers stay long after school to help them. Then we go to their games, beauty pageants, & proms because, to many of them, we’re the only support system they have. And don’t even get me started on the crazy parents we have to deal with…the ones who are so sure their precious, spoiled babies couldn’t possibly be doing anything wrong! I’ve been accused of “giving” a child a ‘B’ because he was an obnoxious fan of my alma mater’s rival (never mind that he was buying study guides instead of doing them himself); of teaching “paganism” because I taught Greek mythology & Dante’s Inferno in my class; & my favorite was the handful of parents that went to the principal about me having the nerve to require my AP American History class to write an 8-page research paper! No teacher is paid enough to put up with parents like these!!!! I don’t imagine you’d be very happy with outsiders coming to your office everyday telling you how they think you should do your job.
        Finally, I agree that there are bad teachers out there (God knows I had several when I was in school) but it’s not fair to paint us all with the same brush. I’ve never known anyone who got into teaching for the money. That’s hysterical! I agree that more should be done to weed out the bad. I also think that high school teachers should be required to have a degree in the subject they teach. As a historian I am appalled at how few history classes you have to take for a history education degree! Too much emphasis is placed on the education classes as opposed to the subject matter we expect them to teach. Education classes helped me become a better teacher BUT they quickly become repetitive. If you want to be a history teacher then you need to know & understand history. If you’re only relying on a high school history textbook to teach your students then you are doing them a disservice (especially since many of them teach popular legend instead of fact & gloss over huge chunks of important historical periods…one book devoted only a 10-sentence paragraph to the Black Death…Grrrrr).
        So yes, there are a few bad apples & there are problems with our current education system but you cannot solely lay the blame at the teachers’ feet!!

      • Danielle

        @ Lyndsey
        You must not have read all of what I have said. You and I are saying the exact same thing. You cannot paint all teachers with the same brush- good or bad! We need to look at facts. You are paid more than comparable for the work that you do, the hours you put in, and the education that you have. One teacher cannot say that because they feel underpaid that this is the fact across the board. The FACT is – $57,000- that’s the salary across the US. I feel as if people are not mad that I say that is fair, but that I gave out the truth to begin with. As for someone else coming in and telling you how to do my job- I HAVE had that occur, I was treated extremely disrespectfully, and I had to respond with alacrity (oh, what I would have given to send the 32-year-old man that sang “I’m gonna get you fired! I’m gonna get you fired” over and over to the principal’s office like the child he was acting like). I got paid less than $750 for it, also. How do you think the homeschooling parents (or any parent for that matter) feel when a teacher says to them, “You can’t do it that way!” or “You have no credentials to teach your own child!” (never mind that they taught the kid how to speak, walk, and everything else before you even met him)? This happens more than you know. I didn’t state that $750 per week was fair. I stated $57,000 per year is fair. But if people are going to continue to give me their sob stories and expect the entire profession of public school teaching to be painted with that rosy-colored brush, then I will give my own individual stories that should not be used to paint the entire profession, but they are the ones that are being helped by tenure. I know a couple who both work as teachers. Both of them have been accused of abuse against minors several times, some of it horrendous, and some of it by students that they taught. Both of them, because of tenure, continue to work in the school system. Instead of being fired for their inappropriate touching, pushing students, and hitting them, all while covering up for each other, they were moved to a different school. They opted to move into special education classrooms (who would believe someone who is “crazy”, “stupid”, or can’t even talk) and this was approved. Because, despite the fact that many people came forward with similar stories who had never even met each other, the police stated there was not enough physical evidence to prosecute (and they failed to follow-up in several cases) know one in their new district (after even more complaints they decided to move districts to avoid ostracism, but not termination) even knows what they did. Are all teachers like this? My goodness, no! Are 1% of teachers like this, I would hope not, and I believe that they aren’t. But tenure protects them (and not the children in their care). Because of tenure several children were reported to be abused (and how many more no one knows), instead of one. It could have been one. Good teachers don’t need tenure! There is no point! No one will fire someone who has a good attitude and does their job well, it costs too much. But tenure- that’s for teachers who are lazy, and yes, teachers like this. If it was only to save those kids, wouldn’t it be worth it to get rid of tenure? So, please read ALL of what I have said. I NEVER said that $28,000 per year was fair or that your personal situation is fair. I stated that $57,000 was fair (and we can play the “no money is enough for this” thing all day- I contend that no money was enough to be screamed at several times an hour, but my bosses believed $17,000 per year was enough). I never said that there aren’t good teachers. I have stated numerous times that most are good. But facts and logic state that more time off and more pay than the average worker in the US IS FAIR!

    • Alicia

      I’m interested in when and where you had this teacher who denied the holocaust. As a student studying education, I am being taught new methods, techniques, and tools on how to teach more effectively. To say he’s misinformed is a sickening generalization. Because of your one teacher, you think that his standing up for teachers is wrong? I’m just a little confused. Perhaps someone should have gone to the school board. Or if this is a teacher you had 20 years ago, maybe it isn’t fair of you to generalize today’s teachers.

    • C

      “I had another teacher who told us that since the class was a graduation requirement, she would only teach us the basics of American history.”

      This is one of the major arguments against standardized testing, which Damon made in his keynote.

    • D

      Henry, YOU are misinformed. Yes, it sounds like you had a teacher who should not have been teaching. However, I assure you that wherever and whenever this was, your teacher’s bosses had every right to have them removed from the classroom for incompetence. This is a school administration’s job. Every district has policies in place to remove a teacher like that.

      • Henry

        Let me talk about some of the other teachers then. Science teacher taught nothing more modern than 1890’s chemistry & physics. The biology teacher was fired for having an affair with a student. The business teacher gave us an assignment at the beginning of class then left to spend the rest of the hour in the teacher’s lounge. The geography teacher wouldn’t look girls in the eye. The literature teacher would refer student’s questions to me when he didn’t know the answers.

      • Henry

        ..Reply Part 2: The reason I knew the answers was because I borrowed my cousin’s high school & college CVs and where possible her text books and would do that work at home. The only reason I got into college without taking remedial classes was because I studied independently at home. I understand the need for standardized testing when the teachers&admin are as out of control as at my school. Reporting to the admin got us nowhere … frankly we were surprised that the biology teacher was fired. Bad school.

    • Lyndsey

      What the heck? This completely wound up in the wrong place! :-/

  • what!

    what! bad salarys and long hours. its great salary, they get 15 + sick days a year and get summers and every holiday off. they work the same hours as the sudent does, and they arent getting paid. i support his cause but that is grasping at sraws.

    • Jesse

      How many teachers do you know?

      • @what

        I can’t believe that I’m stooping to respond to your offensive comment, but here goes. If you think it’s such a great salary and so many sick days for a year (btw – your implication that teachers would USE all of their sick days in a year speaks volumes to your work ethic), then why don’t you go out and become one? I’m sure your significant spelling and grammatical errors, combined with your inability to structure a coherent argument would not prevent you from getting through the 5 years of university required to become a teacher. Best of luck to you.

    • Honeybelle

      For many teachers (I’m the daughter of one) summer isn’t a vacation- it’s a seasonal layoff. My dad always had to scramble to find a job for “vacation”. The teachers around here only get seven sick days. That might seem like a lot but keep in mind they don’t have “vacation” days to use for anything. My friend’s daughter got sick, she had to stay with her, and she had reimburse the district for the sub.

    • c.

      obviously not a teacher, nor knows anyone in the profession. a first year lawyer will make an exponential amount more than a first year teacher, and they won’t have to deal with half the crap. plus, teachers don’t get paid for the work done outside of the the classroom like planning lessons and grading, where lawyers would charge extra fees. as a teacher ed. student, i’m sick of this uninformed BS that many people like you seem to take.

      • ec

        I have no opinion on the teacher debate, but I can’t let this comment go unchallenged. I’m a lawyer (in the public sector) and the reason why we make so much more money is because we go to grad school to get a law degree and people should be compensated commensurate with their education. Also, lawyers in the private sector work monstrous hours, upwards of 80 to 100 hours a week and for that, they deserve the extra pay. Comparing lawyers with teachers is tantamount to comparing a doctor to a plumber. Not that one is ‘better’ than the other, but there’s usually a reason why different professions have such disparate salaries.

      • KL

        EC should know better than to imply teachers don’t work long hours. When does all the lesson planning and grading happen? Certainly not during school hours. And to be fair, teachers with their masters degree or PhD (yes, there are many teachers who go to grad school!) do not even make the starting salary of a lawyer. Compensation commensurate with education? Right.

      • Rachel

        ec – there are tons of teachers who start teaching after they get their Master’s degree. Also counselors, principals, etc. Salary is higher than it is with a bachelor’s, but not by much. And that’s under attack, too.

      • muhahaha

        Comparing a teacher to a lawyer does not make a good argument in my opinion.

      • betty

        EC, you should be ashamed for making such an ignorant, unfounded comment. Teachers work incredibly long hours, just as many hours as lawyers. How do you think papers and tests get graded? Teachers spend hours each day preparing for the next day. They write out lesson plans, gather materials, organize experiments, etc. Teachers constantly have to attend continuing education courses, and most go on to get their masters degrees WHILE STILL TEACHING. I’d say teachers work pretty darned hard, and the teachers I know clock MANY unpaid hours because they love what they do. Teachers also have to go through a rigorous college experience just to get that first job. Anyone who denies that teachers work long hours or deserve compensation obviously doesn’t know any teachers. And I would also like to ask, how did YOU become a lawyer? Did you just figure it out all on your own, or did a few TEACHERS help you to get there?

      • Mark

        EC, your comment reflects one of the reasons why our education is in trouble, we do not value or give teaching respect. Not enough respect as a profession. There are plenty of teachers who work long hours. Not to mention have advanced degrees. There are plenty of teachers who earned these degrees at top universities too. Teachers are professionals. Look at those high achieving countries. They respect teachers. It is seen as a desired profession. Not to mention Finland, the country the Superman movie tried to praise, teachers are all in unions.

      • Worship Teachers

        You are right. Teachers are the only ones who work long hours on salary. NOTE TO EVERYONE: Teaching is the only profession where you have to work long hours, make less than lawyers, and have to work at home. NO ONE else has to put up with this. JUST TEACHERS. If you believe that you have a tough job, just think of teachers and be thankful for what you have.

    • topazbean

      Summer is not a vacation. My stepmom is a teacher and all she does all summer is mark papers and plan the year ahead. Into the bargain, work stress has meant that she has developed chronic fatigue syndrome and has collapsed several times at work, yet she keeps at it. Plus, working in an inner city neighborhood, she’s had death threats against her and her daughter by students. Yet she went into this profession when she was already 40 because she thought it was an important thing to do and worth it for the kids who do benefit. This crap drives me crazy. Job insecurity is not an incentive to work harder. Like with acting, it’s an incentive to find another job.

      • Rhonda

        So why is she marking papers in the summer AFTER the school season is over? Shouldn’t that have been done when school was in session? How did her students get an honest grade if their course work was never looked at until July?

      • Worship Teachers

        Maybe your stepmom should find a different line of work. No one is holding a gun to her head making her work as a teacher. This is a free country.

      • abadstroller

        It sounds like her stepmom became a teacher because she cares about children and continues to teach even if the money and the conditions aren’t optimal BECAUSE she is making a difference in the life of a child. That’s right: No one is holding gun to her head. It is a free country, and she CHOOSES

      • abadstroller

        …to teach. Oh, BTW, Rhonda, have you ever heard of Summer School? It’s the school kids go to in the SUMMER if they didn’t complete their classes during the school year. My cousin teaches Summer School. He’s also one of the high school’s track coaches and took the kids to State AFTER the school term ended. Also, he’s one of the football coaches (besides teaching Math and English during the school year) so he’s coaching and conditioning with the kids BEFORE the school term starts.

      • abadstroller

        Oh, and an additional BTW, he pursued his Master’s Degree in Education AND got it (commuting 180 miles round-trip for classes a couple times a week) while teaching classes AND coaching two sports during the school year. AND I’m willing to bet there are more teachers out there who are like him than there are those who suck like Henry and Danielle’s teachers.

    • Ed

      You know nothing about teaching, obviously. Where do you get 15 sick days a year? Sick days are determined by the district/school; they’re not a universal number. Your broad statement shows you know little about what you’re talking about. And I have some friends who are English teachers, and they don’t work the same hours as their students. Often, they’re grading late into the night and planning for the next day; they work more hours than me, that’s for sure. When else do you think they are able to grade the hundreds of essays, tests, and homework assignments? During their evenings, weekends and these holidays they have “off.” And, on your summers off statement, I know people who, if you add up their vacation and comp time, actually have roughly the same amount of time off as many of my teacher friends. They just decide when to use their days, while teachers’ days off are determined for them.

      • Ed

        Also, many of my teacher friends use their summers to teach summer school or have part time jobs, because they don’t make enough during the year. Look at the salaries of urban educators; they don’t make the same as their suburban counterparts.

      • Worship Teachers

        If your teacher friends don’t make enough as teachers or are unhappy with the workload, then maybe they should find another line of work. BTW, teachers are not the only professionals who have to work long hours and feel that they are underpaid.

    • Just the facts mama

      I commend Matt for sticking up for teachers. Just to set some people straight there is alot of misinformation about teacher’s time off. If you want to go on vacation with your family and need to extend it before a break – too bad! You will get docked the entire break if you take off early or come back late. If you have a sick or terminally ill family member you cannot take your “sick” days. If you have sick days you have not used in previous years you can take personal days. You can take a unpaid leave of absence. We don’t have vacation days to take when we have surgery. We don’t get paid maternity leave. I was sick for most of my last pregnancy and had to go on bedrest unpaid. I have worked in the private sector and those benefits are all just taking for granted in the private sector. Thanks Matt for trying to inform the ignorant people who need to open their ears and ask questions and really get to the truth rather than spouting off ridiculous things like “10 % of teachers are bad teachers”.

    • Cate

      What are you on? That comment is so far from reality.

    • ET

      What in the world are sraws?

    • Leigh

      You think we work the same hours as the students? Are you kidding? I get four weeks off in the summer, not the entire summer. The rest of the time is spent prepping, going to conferences, meetings, etc. I get to school an hour before the kids every day to make sure everything is ready and stay at least two hours after school tutoring, copying, in meetings, in conferences, and so on. Yes, we get holidays off, but many times we are up late planning, grading, getting things ready.

      It’s safe to say that most teachers I know put in 10+ hour days. We grade on the weekends. There’s far more to teaching than instruction.

      Sure, there are poor teachers in education, just like there are poor employees in any field. But 10%? No way. Not even close.

      The problem is we are expected to cure society’s ills, parent children, make sure they have the basics, all the while working with 36+ kids in the class. I’ll have 40 next year in each of my five classes. And those kids will work hard and learn. Despite all the obstacles being thrown at educators, especially the misinformation that anti-public education advocates throw out there.

      • Jessica

        I agree wholeheartedly with your comment that teachers are expected to cure society’s ills, and unfairly so. Parents are no longer held accountable for raising their children; they expect schools to teach their children not only academics, but a basic work ethic, manners, and respect for authority. If children don’t come into school with these things, the best teachers – public, private, what have you – do not have a fighting chance at truly educating them. I respect the teaching profession, but the way public schools are structured now does little to change those fundamental problems, and I seriously doubt that public education can make those changes.

    • sienna scorpio

      As an educator what! I don’t get 15+ sick days a year. I don’t get every holiday off. I spend my summers doing training, writing curriculum, etc. There are teachers who sit on their ass and principals ignore it. More often than not, we are doing our job, especially since we don’t have job security. Not with all of the cuts in educational spending.

    • bamabunny

      Obviously another one under the mistaken impression that teachers are only working when kids are in school. School’s out = teachers aren’t working, right? Well the teachers I know are there before the kids get there, stay long after, take their work with them (those term papers and tests aren’t going to read and grade themselves), and summer vacation? Please, the teachers are usually back in school themselves, training, doing continuing education, attending conferences, even getting masters or PhDs!

      And yes, there are some bad teachers out there, but there are lots of people who are bad at the jobs they love. And frankly, school districts are desperate these days to hire anyone with an education degree, plus between classroom management and test-taking, good teachers are lucky they can squeeze in a good lesson plan!

    • Alicia

      you are ignorant and horribly misinformed. I would educate you, but my fellow commenters already have.

    • bensmom

      Teachers don’t work the same amount of hours as the student does. For every hour that I teach I put in at least that preparing and marking. I do get summers off, etc. but I sometimes work 2 -3 hours a night, and on the weekends. I’m not complaining. I love my job and hope that what I do makes a difference in someone’s life. Teaching is a complex job; sometimes you can see the impact you have made and other times no matter how hard you try a student does not make any progress.

    • The Facts…

      Teachers DO NOT get paid for summers off. Teachers get paid for a 9 month year, and that pay is spread out among 12 months. They also usually have 7-9 sick days a year – and no paid vacation days.

    • Donna Thill

      This is a ridiculous statement! Teachers work “the same hours as their students do?!” It’s AUgust 2nd, and I spent 6 hours today, during my “summer off” to refine and improve my lessons. In fact a colleague and I do this throughout our summers for years now.

    • Chinaski

      Um, students do get paid. It’s called an education.

      • @Chinaski


    • m

      hey dumb@ss, anyone can take the summer off. teachers don’t get paid for that. teaching is the hardest job around.

    • Amber

      We get 5 sick days and 5 personal days, which is pretty standard for a professional job (meaning one that requires a college degree). I work during the summer planning lessons, preparing my classroom and going to professional training. During the school year I’m often at work for 10-11 hours a day, and still bring things home to work on. Not only that, I go on Saturday to tutor and attend my students’ plays, sporting events and even birthday parties when invited. I also work really hard to ensure that each of them grasps the material and enjoys learning. My husband is a teacher/coach and he works 90-100 hours a week from August to December. Even if he did get the whole summer off, it wouldn’t make up for that time. Unfortunately, he went back to work full time two weeks ago, 7am-9pm and half days on Saturday. But yeah, you’re right, we’re in this business for the summer vacation and personal days. Lazy, that’s us.

    • @What

      Do you really think teachers spend summers on the beach twiddling their thumbs???? WE PLAN FOR THE FOLLOWING SCHOOL YEAR WHILE WE’RE NOT WORKING OUR SECOND, SUMMER JOBS!!

    • Clete

      Based on you post, it would appear that you must have missed all of your English classes, bet your teacher was there.

  • jamie

    Matt Damon didn’t say in the part of his answer shown in the clip that there aren’t bad teachers. A statement saying 10% of teachers are bad seems pretty random to me, and he had a good comeback to that. It may be more than 10%, or less. The point was that they were there to ask him those questions from an entertainment standpoint, and not a news standpoint. I’m guessing that neither the cameraman or the on air talent didn’t have much information on education reform.

    • abadstroller

      Matt “schooled” them (the bubble-headed dingbats), that’s for sure.

      • Ryan

        LOL. Matt was “schooled”. He can’t even sustain a debate without hurling insults.

        Hey Matt, if the cameraman is sh***y then he wouldn’t have a job. That is the whole point. LMAO when I heard him say that.

      • abadstroller

        That’s right, Ryan (NOT): Having a job and not being sh*tty at it are equal. Are you kidding me? Look at the people around you in every job and profession, and I’ll bet you there is someone lousy at it because (a) an employer couldn’t get someone “good” to do the job for the money and the type of work it is, or (b)an employer won’t fire the sh*tty employee because there’s nobody else to fill the position OR there’s someone telling them to keep that person on (union, in-law boss of said lousy worker, whatever). I’m sure if you think hard enough you can think of more reasons than mine for why a crappy employee manages to keep a job. Yeesh….

  • jamie

    correction: neither the cameraman nor the on air talent had much information on education reform.

  • Jesse

    I am a teacher and, as of right now, a huge Matt Damon fan. Whether he was just defending his mother’s profession or not, good for him for not just being diplomatic with his answer.

    • Liz Lemon

      I agree. My mother is a teacher. They’re seriously under-appreciated in this country. I deeply respect Damon for giving that answer.

    • Becky

      ditto. His response was brilliant, and far more articulate than I could muster given the circumstances. Bravo, Matt!

  • whatevs

    Ok, I’m sorry, but for him to generalize teachers and say they all do it because they love it accomplishes the exact opposite of badassery.

    A lot of teachers certainly do hate their jobs and it shows.

    • topazbean

      But that’s the point, isn’t it. The argument that job insecurity fuels hard work is nonsense. It leads to low morale and poor performance. Teachers hate their jobs because they are overworked and underappreciated for what they do.

      • Just the facts mama

        Your comment generalizes that “teachers” hate their jobs because they are overworked and underappreciated. While that may be true I certainly don’t hate my job. The summers off are not why I am a teacher. I am addicted to the great feeling you get when you connect with your students and learning takes place. I choose to make that my focus and not the negative.

    • Melissa

      I think it’d be fair to say that nearly all teachers go into the job because they love it. Do people get burned out, frustrated and complacent? Sure. But that’s true of any job. And a few bad apples shouldn’t be used as an excuse to take away educational funding and support for all the teachers who do work hard at their jobs.

    • Elizabeth

      Maybe you’d hate your job too if you were blamed for kids who are raised with no respect or work ethic, had to deal with unrealistic parents who care more about Spencer or Heidi’s fashion and playdates then whether they can do simple math, and had your profession trashed by a bunch of dbag politicos who’ve never spent a second in a classroom as a teacher.

  • josh

    Matt needs to come out of the closet.

    • K

      What does that mean?

    • Liz Lemon

      Huge eyeroll coming your way.

    • abadstroller

      Tsk-tsk, Josh: So bad you didn’t have a good teacher show you that there are more effective ways to argue a point of view without suggesting the other person might be gay. A definite hole in your education. Still not too late to add to your skill set though. Good luck!

      • abadstroller

        Oops: Meant to start with “So sad” or “Too bad”…it’s the new hybrid tsk-tsk expression(and that’s the story I’m sticking to :).

      • Alyne

        Great answer!

  • Michael

    Just like in every other job there are bad teacher and good teacher just like their are students the issue is everyone learn a different way now and its hard for teacher to teach like that

    What need to happen is for AMERICAN to wake up and to stop trying to turn our kids into Gods

    • Elizabeth

      You mean actually raise the little demons so they are functional adults by 18? Oh come on Michael, you’re being unrealistic! When am I going to meet my gal pals for our Girls Night Out? When am I going to watch football with the fellas and agonize over my 6 fantasy league teams? There’s not enough time in the world!

  • Anissa

    Thank you Matt! I appreciate your being a voice and I thank your mom for being a great educator!

  • k

    Matt’s mom is a teacher and the fact that he’s a father could be why he got a little heated. There are good teachers out there that are getting treated like crap. If your a bad teacher then your a bad teacher but dont punish the ones that actually like teaching

    • Mark

      Exactly! There were bad bankers who are paid much more than teachers who created the financial mess.

      • levelheaded

        @Mark – exactly. Why hate the teachers when we let the very rich, very powerful bankers off without even a finger wagging?

  • Cece

    Matt: A+ (and thanks!)

  • Em

    He makes a good point – trying to use your own motivation to use a good job and use that as a model for everyone is ignorant and naive. There are plenty of studies that show that different factors motivate different people.
    Don’t assume everyone is like you.

    • Em

      Meant to say – trying to use your your own motivation to do a good job and use that as a model for everyone is ignorant and naive.

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