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Education

12 years later people still can't forget Matt Damon's passionate defense of teachers

Job security doesn't make teachers "bad."

matt damon, matt damon teachers, save our schools

Matt Damon photographed at the 66th Festival de Venise

A video from over 12 years ago of actor Matt Damon supporting teachers is going viral again because it’s a passionate defense of educators in the face of cynicism. Damon accompanied his mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a leading early childhood education advocate, at the Save Our Schools Rally on July 30, 2011, where a reporter from Reason approached him.

Reason is a libertarian media outlet with a long history of embracing school choice.

The reporter approached Damon and attempted to contrast an actor’s career with that of a teacher. "There isn't job security, right? There's an incentive to work hard and be a better actor because you want to have a job, so why isn't it like that for teachers?" the reporter asked.


"So you think job insecurity is what makes me work hard?" Damon responded. "Well, you have an incentive to work harder," the reporter replied. The reporter is making the case that teachers will only work hard if there is a financial incentive. But a teacher's love for the job goes far beyond money.

"I want to be an actor. That's not an incentive; that's the thing,” Damon clarified, implying that actors and teachers are both people who do what they do for a love that goes well beyond the compensation. It is who they are, not what they do.

WARNING: Strong language.

"I mean, why else would you take a shi**y salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?" he concluded. Damon then got into it with the cameraman, who claimed that “10% of teachers are bad” without clarifying where he got that statistic.

"Well, OK," Damon responded. "But maybe you're a shi**y cameraman. I don't know."

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