kid_in_lab

What Works For My Kids

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

The New York Times’ Anna North recently asked me if I was a believer in learning styles, and I’m like, “No.” That’s not my fault, really. As a younger teacher, many of the veteran teachers told me the long list of initiatives that they’d seen come and go in education research, where “education research” is a pejorative, not a compliment. Multiple intelligences. Learning styles. Workshop model. Differentiation. The new math …

rosa-parks

Why We Need Black History Month In The First Place

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Recently, PBS Newshour asked for my thoughts on Black History Month. After noticing that even some people of color railed against the idea of such a month, I decided to write a primer on why we needed them and why this matters for our students, all of them: I wanted to give the students a 10-minute lecture on the fact that groups used to lynch people of color for public …

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White Administrators’ Guilt

Jose Vilson Jose 17 Comments

“This race discussion doesn’t apply to me.” Whenever we say that racism isn’t just discrimination of one set of people towards another, but a systemic set of power structures that benefits one (white) group over another. This goes double for principals and assistant principals because, when your standing already endows you with more power than others in the building, your responsibility towards being cultural competent is doubled as well. We …

Andrew Cuomo

Rescinding My Invite to Governor Andrew Cuomo

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

First off, Governor Andrew Cuomo is never getting an invitation to my classroom nor would I want him anywhere near my students. The most likely scenario is that he stops in for 10 minutes, listens to me do some math, stares at me coldly with the kids whispering “Who is this guy?” to each other, smirking with an “I told you that I’d drop by” look. Then, he’d ask me …

A System of Ninety Equations

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I barely know what week I’m in right now. We just finished the second marking period and we’re just starting to get into systems of equations. I went through a few moments of “I can’t believe this is what they turned in” to “Yes, exactly, this this this!” and everything in between. I’ve known loneliness intimately in school, embraced it, and hoped it meant my voice meant more and not …

Exclusive: The Classroom and the Precinct, Accurately [The Enemy]

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

My people, I recently wrote an article for the upstart mag The Enemy, expounding on my thoughts about the relationships between teachers and the police, pulling together Mobb Deep, Frank Serpico, and others for a piece that was / is absolutely necessary. Here’s a glimpse: To the eyes of the American public, it might seem like none of these are connected, but, to many people of color, the school-to-prison pipeline …

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Less Is More When It Comes To Teacher Time [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

My latest at Edutopia stems from a conversation I had with National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb and Maryland Teacher of the Year Jody Zepp last month at the Maryland State House for the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). We talked about everything under the sun, but one of the things that made people shift in their chairs was my proclamation that we need to cut teacher time in …

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For My Fellow Male Educators of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

My fellow men of color in the education sphere, Recently, there’s been lots of conversation around training and retaining more men of color to become K-12 teachers. Because there’s only 3% of us in the profession currently, seldom do I speak up and out against, or provide caveat to, elevating that number in the least. My experience is limited in that I haven’t met the 90,000 of us who stand …

Martin Luther King's Hands

How Radical Is Your Martin Luther King Jr.?

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

Back when I matriculated at Syracuse University, the Schine Student Center had a computer lab with a large whiteboard in the back of the basement used by student organizations, but the Black and Latino orgs would rapidly occupy that space. I’ll attribute it to feeling like we had few spaces where we could, at least, develop our publications and flyers while convening with other like-minded folks of color. In any …

AngelaDavis

Angela Davis and The Failures of Leadership

Jose Vilson Jose 18 Comments

Angela Davis, legendary abolitionist / prison industrial activist / Black Panther icon recently gave an interview that made me snap my fingers a few times. An excerpt: If structural racism and state violence against African-Americans, aided and abetted by global capitalism, are as rampant as Davis says, isn’t she disappointed in the failure of the US’s first African-American president to speak out when a case comes up that seems to …