Monday, August 1, 2011

Matt Damon On Teachers And Education

Now this is a conversation worth having.

Huge thank you to Matt Damon for starting it off recently:
I had incredible teachers. As I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my curiosity — all come from how I was parented and taught.

And none of these qualities that I’ve just mentioned ... none of these qualities that make me who I am ... can be tested.

I said before that I had incredible teachers. And that’s true. But it’s more than that. My teachers were EMPOWERED to teach me. Their time wasn’t taken up with a bunch of test prep — this silly drill and kill nonsense that any serious person knows doesn’t promote real learning. No, my teachers were free to approach me and every other kid in that classroom like an individual puzzle. They took so much care in figuring out who we were and how to best make the lessons resonate with each of us. They were empowered to unlock our potential. They were allowed to be teachers.
What do you think?

I'm pretty sure that my mother, who taught for 30+ years in the public schools, thought that all the teaching to the test was a bunch of hooey and got in the way of her actually doing the job that she loved as well as she used to be able to do it.  And that all the "push the test" mentality did was to push her toward retirement that much faster.

You certainly don't get creative thought process and innovation from memorizing the best way to tackle a multiple choice question, at least not in my book. 


(Above YouTube via ThinkProgress.)

1 comment:

chef stef815 said...

Matt, how wonderful of you to speak on teachers' behalf. I worked as social worker before teaching and paid in the sufficient amount of S.S. to be able to draw on it. I have taught in Texas for 27 years, paying into TRS. At this time I cannot draw on my husband's S.S. if he dies and S.S. will also take almost half of the entire $800 (whoopee!) I would receive because I will receive Texas Teacher Retirement. I would imagine most if not all the politicians in Washington draw more than one "pension". Anyway, I have contacted my senator John Culberson, and he reported that teachers will never have this S.S. bill amended because of the budget. So at this time, I will continue to work as long as I am healthy and enjoy my work. Thanks, Stephanie R.