God Bless You, Matt Damon

I saw this on BosGuy and thought it was really cool. This is footage from the 2011 SOS March. Matt Damon spoke. Matt Damon did interviews. Matt Damon defended teachers against a [expletive] cameraman!

One of the comments on this video says:

And yes, they do. Please tell me why I would take a job that requires me to work weekends, before and after my scheduled job, and work during the summer when I’m suppose to be off, totally to probably 80+ hours of work per week…just to make 40k a year?

I completely agree with what the commenter says, except I must add as someone who teachers at a private school: I wish I made 40k a year!

As a personal aside, you might be wondering why I work at a private school that pays just over half of what public school teachers make.  The answer is quite simple actually.  It has nothing to do with the fact that private school children are smarter or better behaved, the truth is, they are not.  The reason I teach at a private school is that they have different rules when it comes to teaching credentials.  In the State of Alabama, in order to be able to teach in a public school one must have a degree in education.  There are rare exceptions to this rule, such as emergency hiring and certification, but you have to find a school system to do this.  History is not usually a discipline in high demand.  All of my degrees are in History (BA, MA, soon to be PhD).  I was told that if I wanted to teach in the Alabama public school system that I would have to return to school and get a second master’s degree in education.  Credentials for teaching history in Alabama middle and high school only required four additional history courses above the core requirements.  To me this is ridiculous. How do you get a good enough education in history so that you can teach it with only four classes? The majority of classes are education pedagogy related courses.  The thing I don’t understand is that I can teach history to college history education majors, but I am not allowed to teach history to high school students.  To me this is stupid.

I love to teach, and that is the reason that I do it.  The college job market is extremely tough at this point, even though they keep saying that many professors are retiring, some colleges and universities due to budget restraints are not hiring to replace those professors.  So I got a job teaching history at a private school.  I may complain about the pay, but at least I am doing what I love, even if the students can drive me crazy at times and I put in as much time working outside the classroom as I do in the classroom.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

8 responses to “God Bless You, Matt Damon

  • becca

    i've alwasy wonder about the difference in public and private schools. as a mom i've considered putting my son in a private school but most of the ones close to me are run by churches and i don't want relgion shoved at him. i want him to decide for himself what he believes in that being said i wonder if a private school would give him a better education as he is a gifted student. anyways good for you for finding a place where you can do what you love.

  • JoeBlow

    Becca, here there are basically three types of privates school: the premium ones, the smaller Christian-oriented schools, and the church school. The premium one are usually quite expensive with tuition around the same as a small private college. However, for those who can afford them, the teachers there make much better salaries, usually hold higher degrees, and they offer more for gifted students. The small Christian-oriented schools have tuition on about the same level as a public university, but the teachers are not usually paid as well and they are usually unable to offer what a gifted student needs, arts, AP courses, etc. However, that being said, those schools do have teachers who are incredibly dedicated. This is the type of school where I teach; we just don't have the funding for programs in the arts and we are often quite low-tech. The church schools very greatly. Some follow a very strict Christian curriculum, while others are more Christian-oriented like the second category above. If you do look into a private school, look at what the school offers, how your son would fit in, etc. If you ever have any questions, you can feel free to email me anytime and I will answer to the best of my ability. I am assuming like most southern states that Florida is similar to Alabama when it comes to private schools.It may be hard work, but I do get to teach which is what I love to do. I also try my best to go above and beyond to give the students the classroom experience they deserve.

  • Jacob Woods

    Now you have me hooked on Matt! Now I am watching all of his political videos haha. Love it!

  • Jay M.

    If you teach high school half as well as you teach on this blog, your students are getting a bargain at any price. And I'm sure you're not getting what you deserve. I spent five years working in a high school (not teaching, just staff), and I was constantly amazed at the teachers and what they went through to get through to their students.Peace <3Jay

  • becca

    thank you for the information i will keep this in mind when looking

  • JoeBlow

    Jacob, Matt is pretty cool.Thanks, Jay. I do my best to keep my students engaged in the classroom. My mother says that my school has seen nothing like me before, LOL.You're welcome, becca.

  • fan of casey

    Joe: You sacrifice a lot for your chosen profession. Once you get your PhD, we can call you Doctor Joe Blow and then more opportunities will be available to you.I agree that teacher licensing only sets a minimum level of competence, it doesn't guarantee that everyone will be great teachers. Like anything on a bell curve, there are outstanding ones and mediocre ones. Unfortunately with a union, the mediocre ones can blend into the background and not really be held accountable for improving their methods.

  • JoeBlow

    FOC: I think that the majority of teachers sacrifice a lot for the profession. I agree that there are mediocre ones out there and that unions are part of the problem, but thankfully there are also the great teachers out there willing to take up the slack.

Thank you for commenting. I always want to know what you have to say. However, I have a few rules: 1. Always be kind and considerate to others. 2. Do not degrade other people's way of thinking. 3. I have the right to refuse or remove any comment I deem inappropriate. 4. If you comment on a post that was published over 14 days ago, it will not post immediately. Those comments are set for moderation. If it doesn't break the above rules, it will post.

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