As An Educator, Are You Occupying or Being Preoccupied? [GOOD Magazine]

Jose VilsonGuest Posts, Resources3 Comments

Stephen Lazar, Brian Ford, myself, and others at #OccupyWallStreet, NJTAG pre-Columbus Day Teach-In


When we hear inaccurate statements about our profession, we ought to stand up and correct them—our battle is a fight against false ideas as well. As we elevate our profession by accurately discussing it, we should seek self-empowerment in the way we speak about our classrooms. Teachers can either continue to let others dictate the words we use to describe our profession or we can occupy the classroom, staying ahead of those who would rather downgrade our job to a matter of bubbles and letters. This will put us in control of the national education conversation and free us from inaccurate ideas about what the word “teacher” means. We should also reach for the validation of our students. We need to keep them occupied, too. Schooling needs to be less about busy work and more about the kind of learning that will keep kids engaged in the material.

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Jose, who thinks you should have something in common with Rosario Dawson

Comments 3

  1. You have taken the words right out of my mouth. I am wondering how to I can help teachers’ voices to be heard. As a teacher in Nashville, TN we no longer have collective bargaining or faculty advisory committees. Our voices have been silenced. There must be a way to inspire teachers to use their voices, a vehicle to carry those voices to the world and accountability from our government to respond. My dream is to create Teacher Think Tanks and take the ideas created there as the measures for creating school reform that works. WE are the experts. You are right… It’s time that we ALL speak up.

  2. Post

    Thanks everyone for commenting.

    I published it at GOOD Magazine (, not at University of Phoenix. They have a connection with UoPh somehow and I don’t know what that’s about. Unfortunately, what’s happening a lot these days is that every major publishing venue outside of one’s own blog has a strange connection with unseemly partners. For instance, when a bunch of us were asked to write for Huffington Post, we didn’t understand it would coincide with the WfS release, and even then, we kept berating WfS publicly. Also, before this connection, GOOD had a bunch of great articles in print and on-line that bashed things like overtesting and dilution of arts funding.

    Having said that, I’m conscious of the connection now, but the person who asked me to write for GOOD is someone who is of our edu-ideology.

    I hope that clears some things.

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