I've always loved Matt Damon for his roles in films like "Good Will Hunting" and "Bourne Identity," but I love him even more now for the role he's playing in defending teachers and condemning the current system of standardized testing in today's schools.


Damon gave the keynote address at the July 30 Save Our Schools march in Washington, D.C. He was introduced by his mom, a university professor who teaches early childhood education. At the rally, Damon gave full props to teachers for getting him where he is in life, saying, "As I look at my life today, the things that I value about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my curiosity — came from the way that I was parented and taught."


His speech was awesome, and a great boost for teachers around the nation, letting them know they are respected and supported as they struggle to teach kids despite budget cutbacks and curriculum restraints. But what's really making news is an interview that occurred following Damon's address, when the actor was asked by a Reason.tv reporter if teachers would work harder if they didn't have tenure, similar to they way he works hard as an actor even though he doesn't have the cushion of tenure.  


"So you think job insecurity is what makes me work hard?" Damon said. "I want to be an actor. That's not an incentive. That's the thing. See, you take this MBA-style thinking, right? It's the problem with ed policy right now, this intrinsically paternalistic view of problems that are much more complex than that. It's like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when they have tenure. A teacher wants to teach. I mean, why else would you take a {expletive} salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?"


For some reason at this point the cameraman shooting the interview decided to chime in adding, "Aren't 10 percent of teachers bad, though? Ten percent of teachers are bad."


When asked where he got those numbers, the cameraman responded, "I don't know. Ten percent of people in any profession maybe should think of something else."


To which Damon replied: "I don't know, maybe you're a {expletive} cameraman."


To me, this unscripted moment was better than any line Damon has ever spoken in any of his films. Hats off to you, Matt Damon, for defending the teachers of America! 


You can watch the entire interview here. But watch out, it does contain some salty language.


Matt Damon defends teachers
Watch as Matt Damon shuts down a Reason.tv reporter (and her cameraman) for claiming that tenured teachers have no incentive to work hard.