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Teacher Barely Notices Mannequins In A Classroom Prank

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

In today’s news, a prank goes horribly wrong when a group of students replaced themselves with mannequins only to notice the teacher kept teaching. “It was supposed to be a childish prank, but, when we looked through the classroom door, she just kept teaching like we were there,” said Juan Gomez, a student in her class. The school, under the city’s official department website, is classified as 90% free or …

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Don’t Choke Our Kids

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

It was the kids who told me that Daniel Pantaleo, Eric Garner’s choker, wasn’t indicted. Outside at around 2:40pm, the kids approached me from the grocery store, coming back into the school, and said, “Mr. Vilson, they’re getting away with it.” Unlike my generation, there’s no delusions of racism being isolated to the South, no nuanced understanding of the role police undertaker, and no after-school specials telling us it’s going …

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Educators Say The Darndest Things About Kids of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

“He deserves to have been shot.” When I logged into Facebook for the umpteenth time last week, I should have expected to read this. At any given moment, I’m reminded that we shouldn’t ever be desensitized to injustice and inhumanity, yet, I’ve grown so used to it that I deflect it, block it, or respond to it swiftly and concisely in the hopes that I don’t drain my energies that …

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Week 13: Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See

Jose Vilson Jose, Mr. Vilson 8 Comments

This morning, I woke up in a haze. After attending the Teachers for Social Justice curriculum fair in Chicago this weekend, I felt empowered to move students in a direction that continues to empower them. On Monday, my mind felt less optimistic about my day at school, in dealing with both students and adults. After school, and for the last 100 days, I knew that there would be no indictment, …

Men Explain Things To Women Too Often, In Education and Otherwise

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Audrey Watters: “There’s that very famous New Yorker cartoon: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The cartoon was first published in 1993 — fairly interesting, I think, because it shows that by the early 1990s, the Internet had achieved if not a popular appeal, then enough of one that those who read the New Yorker could chuckle about the reference. The cartoon demonstrates too this sense that we …

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Beautiful Bytes of Data

Jose Vilson Guest Posts 23 Comments

[Today’s special guest is Anthony Mullen, 2009 Teacher of the Year and awesome writer. Feel free to tell us what you think about his post in the comments below.] The young man wearing blue jeans and a red and white polo shirt is anxious. He frequently looks at his watch, shaking his head while staring at the train tracks. He is restless and angry and impatient because the train is …

David Cohen and Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch and David B. Cohen Review My Book On The Same Day

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

One of my friends mentioned that my book might not just be Book of the Spring and Summer, but of the Fall, too, given the rhythm of the school year. I smiled at the thought because, within that time period from March to April, I had completed edits to the book, finished my Math for America application, and turned in my National Board Certification papers. Little did I know that …

Some of the teachers from the NPR comments, getting out of school

If This Keeps Happening, The Teaching Profession Is Doomed

Jose Vilson Jose 15 Comments

Last week, NPR Ed interviewed me and four other teachers for its 50 Great Teachers Series in an article entitled: “5 Great Teachers On What Makes A Great Teacher.” I was gassed because they actually took the time to draw a cool sketch of me for the piece, and the drawing looks like me. Just as important was the fact that we actually took a reflective look at the teaching …

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Is Fundraising The Path Towards Equitable Schools? [New York Times]

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

Last week, The New York Times asked me if I believe in fundraising. My initial answer, “Yes, but it depends on what the money is for.” You should feel free to disagree, but I’m always at a loss about fundraising because it perpetuates inequity in our schools. While one set of kids has to raise funds just for new textbooks and basketball uniforms, the other can just ask a few …

Voting Happens In Between Elections

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

What do I tell my students about voting? “You put [Democrats] first, and they put you last. ‘Cause you’re a chump. A political chump! … Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you are dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that …