1. peterparker says

    Ha! Ha! That stupid reporter and even stupider cameraman had no idea what they were getting into. They thought they were dealing with some brainless actor, but they got schooled! (And I don’t think the reporter had any idea what a big word like ‘paternalistic’ means.)

  2. Matthew says

    People who just don’t understand the education system really tick me off. My mom is a high school English teacher, and, like Matt said, she does it because she loves to teach. It’s really a lot of work, especially outside of school hours, grading papers and forming lesson plans. Too many people today underestimate how much work goes into teaching, and they undervalue the work teachers do. Way to stick up for your mom and teachers, Matt.

  3. says

    Matt is a great actor and an all round good guy…….that was just magnificent….

    Those reporters/cameramen/interviewers were just gulping air……without any thought or interest or concern as to what they were asking …….just gasping for a word from the man. Pathetic and hollow
    Seems to me that much more than 10% of interviewers are “shi**y”.

  4. Thomasina says

    What if ten percent of teachers are bad? He just made that number up out of the thin air while standing in front of Academy Award-winner Matt Damon and a woman who is apparently named “Matt Damon’s mom,” didn’t he? What if there are 57 Communists in the United States Congress? Evil Angela Lansbury got that number for me off a catsup bottle, by the way.

  5. Oliver says


    my partner is a teacher. he leaves the house before 8am and returns home around 6:30pm (and the school is 10 mins from the house). every night he corrects papers for a couple of hours or does class planning in order to make the teaching process more interesting for today’s student. on saturdays he corrects papers for half the day. many young people are nasty and hateful (he’s had chairs thrown at him) and if you look at them cross-eyed they bring their parents in who defend them to the ends of the earth (“little Johnny is the best angel God ever created”). all this for $34K/year.

    i also have a friend who’s a server at a fancy breakfast joint and works from 6:30AM to 11:30AM and walks with $175-200/day. (she has no papers to correct and weekends off)

    you do the math…

  6. Scott says

    Soooo …

    Can anybody on here say that less than 10 percent of the teachers they’ve had growing up were bad and shouldn’t be teaching? I can name at least five incompetent teachers I’ve suffered through.

    Matt Damon didn’t school anybody here. His response is purely emotional. The unions’ protectionism is the worst thing to happen to good young teachers, who are the first to get laid off to protect the lazy with seniority. The lack of accountability for teacher performance has been devastating for our education.

    Also, those bad teachers contribute to the apathetic environment that leads to antigay bullying. How many stories have been linked to on here about apathetic teachers who do nothing about antigay bullying in the classroom?

    Also, go read what Reason writes on gay issues for heaven’s sake.

  7. Leroy Laflamme says

    Have always been a huge fan & I love this man even more now, & not just because he’s absolutely delectable with no hair.

  8. Gigi says

    So now cameramen are offering critique when they feel that the reporter isn’t doing her job properly? Everyone’s worried about teachers and their “cushy jobs” and “summers off” but what about the douches on Wall Street who ran off with all of our money? Is anyone upset that they were allowed to screw us over and not spend one day in jail? Apparently, not so much.

  9. TommyOC says

    @Scott: Let me get this out of the way: I am all for a union’s role in collective bargaining, but I am no fan of teachers’ unions as they’ve become today (or most unions, for that fact.)

    That said, I’m going to take everything you said about having “incompetent” teachers and throw it out the window. Why? Because unless your secondary school teachers were still teaching you about colors and shapes, chances are that they were teaching you something new, something you didn’t know. That automatically makes them competent.

    And if you weren’t learning what they had to teach, were failing your tests, or simply didn’t like them, then perhaps you were the incompetent student.

    Nobody likes teachers. When people point to our failing academic system, we like to point toward the teachers being at fault. As if they weren’t being taught the best ways to educate kids. As if they weren’t being mandated to stay current on technology and methodologies. As if the quality of their student body wasn’t diminishing – and it is, considering fewer now have parental support throughout or even basic language skills on their first day.

    Teachers are failing because a child’s “education” has been reduced to a profession. An 8-3 job that children are just expected to do. Then they can go home and play video games to their hearts’ content.

    Until we revert to the idea that education is a 24/7 job, where the realms of “formal” and “informal” lessons are reconsidered to be complimentary to each other, our children will continue to fall behind other nations’.

    And our teachers will have lesser quality blocks of clay from which to mold. And their jobs, inherently, will be harder. And their pay, unfortunately, will remain the same.

  10. says

    Damon is wrong. Job security should depend entirely upon performance. Schools today are a jobs program for the teacher’s union which funds the politicians who fund the teachers with each promising the other more. Meanwhile the schools decline and kids get forgotten. It’s nice Damon wants to protect his mommy’s job but the schools, meaning the people who run them, need some real shaking up.

  11. says

    Tenure is perhaps the only real protection teachers have in a system, where principals have almost dictatorial powers at their sites. That said, tenure has become a public relations problem recently, as schools have been forced to lay-off thousands of teachers for budgetary reasons. In these lay-offs, tenure has been the only factor in determining who gets the “pink-slips. To use tenure as the only variable in lay-offs is irresponsible and reprehensible. Tenure should never be used to force schools to dismiss good teachers, and retain poor ones. Contrary to the unions’ assertions that all teachers are equal, we know they are not. Sure, tenure is needed as a protection against capricious actions by school administrators, but it should never be an iron-clad protection for unqualified or uninterested teachers either. If you’ve not seen the documentary “Waiting For Superman”, you should put it on your list. Very eye opening.

  12. Dback says

    I’ve taught at some of the absolute worst high schools, and some of the very best (two made Newsweek’s Top 100 schools in America list). Teacher quality obviously makes a difference, as do the facilities and supplies (up-to-date textbooks and enough of them for everyone, functioning computers, proper heat, safe grounds, etc.).

    However, the two things I’ve seen that make the most difference are socio-economic status and parental involvement. There is a measurable lag of African-American and Latino kids’ scores and performance in schools, but that’s mostly based on their family income, not their race–and minorities in America are usually poorer than whites. They also tend to live in higher crime areas, have more social or family dysfunction due to poverty, etc.

    If you’ve got a household with a significant income, you’ve probably got kids whose parents demand more from them than the bare minimum, and they’ll come to school fed & properly cared for–not sleeping on the streets, not never having medical check-ups, not coming from a home with drug abuse, not focused on just surviving the day, not being tempted by gangs, not looking at a future of minimum wage jobs and getting drunk every weekend because that’s what their friends do. There is the EXPECTATION that kids will work hard, will behave themselves in class, will go to college, will do something with their lives. And parents have the luxury of time and money to help their kids and intervene if the kid needs more than a conventional classroom routine (tutoring, IEP meetings, extra-curriculars, etc).

    And mind you, I’m not dissing all parents–if good jobs disappear, if neighborhoods aren’t safe and welcoming, if housing prices plummet, it’s a lot harder for a parent to make a decent wage and simultaneously be a full-time positive influence on their kid. Parents do, however, need to stop seeing their kid as their “friend,” stop buying them every electronic gadget under the sun, model reading and good work habits, and instill consequences if kids don’t pull their weight at home and at school. I had some kids in one class who acted up every day, distracted others, trashed the room, got regularly written up–and didn’t care a jot, because all they wanted to do was skate by with the bare minimum GPA to maintain athletic eligibility. Any parent or administrator that would dare to say to me “Well, you must not be a good teacher” with 3-5 of these kids in one class (plus another 3-5 that kept trying to put on their headphones, text, or just go to sleep), I invite them to do my job for a couple days. They’d get a rude awakening at how messed up a lot of America’s kids truly are, and it starts the minute they’re a baby when a “parent” gives them a bottle filled with soda and plops them in front of the TV for 4-6 hours.

  13. Notnerb says

    What the hell was the need to cut to the shot of him crying in Good Will Hunting about? They asked a question and he delivered a what I thought was a well reasoned answer about it so they feel they have to undermine him by somehow implying he is a crybaby or something? Then the camera man appears to pull some statistic out of thin air and can’t back it up when asked… who the hell are these bozos?