A Child’s First Teacher

Jose Vilson Guest Posts 4 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.] Spring is in the air and I am surrounded by death. The countless small white headstones seem so clean, neat, tidy – each a small but insignificant reminder that a person once lived. I come here often but still get lost …


Beautiful Bytes of Data

Jose Vilson Guest Posts 24 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 …


On Why IDGAF About Dress Code … Kinda [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: Having a dress code matters in far too many schools. I know of schools where, on dress down days, kids wear strictly primary colors depending on their affiliations, or look down on one another for inexpensive wardrobe. It also sets a tone, teaching students early that coming to school is like coming to work in a way where looks matters, so dress appropriately. At least these are some of …

Edutopia + Jose Vilson = Back To School [… And Another One]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

To my readers: Thanks to your support, I am happy to announce that Edutopia has invited me to write a guest blog for their website. (Full disclosure: they’re sponsored by the George Lucas Education Foundation. Yes, that George Lucas.) Here’s an excerpt from my back-to-school posted entitled “Cheat Sheet for the First Days of School”: As the bulletin boards go up and the chalkboards, whiteboards and Smartboards get dusted and …


Why You Should Worry About Khan Academy, Not Just Math Geeks [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: The trend of gamifying our culture has had some benefits in other areas. Weight Watchers uses a points system to discourage customers from eating fatty foods. Nike+ has developed a specialized program (with shoes!) that help you compete against others through exercise. Klout uses equations to help rank people and brands through social media. Games often find themselves in the tools we as teachers use to encourage kids to …

How Many Houses Have You Built? [On The Future of Teaching Blog]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Excerpt: However, I can’t help but feel some sort of way about the risk / reward dynamic that’s played itself out when it comes to advocacy. As professionals, how long can teachers wait until our profession gets completely stripped away from us? How much will we tolerate policy committees and education panels without so much as a former teacher, much less a current one? How often do we value the …


The Not-So-Secret Secret [A Piece of My Manuscript] [Middleweb]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

For a while, you’ve been told of this magical manuscript in the works now for the last two years. If you’re still here after waiting that long, congratulations. As a gift for your perseverance and dedication, I present to you an excerpt of said manuscript, sponsored by One time I kept the kids after school because they kept uttering the n-word. Rosa Parks had died the day before, and …


On Rue, Trayvon, and All Of Our Children [My First CNN Exclusive]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

Excerpt: Teens are the predominant target group for this movie. At some point, don’t we as a society have to step in and question what we’re teaching our children about race? Isn’t it our responsibility as caring adults to tell our children that our differences only make our country richer in experience? How do we get our young boys and girls to understand that the difference they see in skin …

We No Speak Americano [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: While we should always have a skeptical eye towards new research, here’s hoping this movement towards bilingual education doesn’t die the way the movement towards the metric system. (As a math teacher, I’m still annoyed at having to use inches instead of centimeters.) At this point in education, we’ve only had a passing fancy with other languages. Spanish, French, German, and Italian seem to dominate the foreign language category, …


Do You Have A Trayvon Martin In Your Class? [Huffington Post]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: The first step always starts with a teacher’s current crop of kids. The one question I always ask myself when students walk in is, “What do I see?” Then, “What do I think I see?” I’m laying down some of my general assumptions for me to probe, then trying to understand why I feel that way. Sometimes, these assumptions come from observations I’ve made about the world, but often, …