Black teacher in classroom

New York City’s Fractured Relationship With Teachers Of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

I forgot to tell y’all something at last week’s teacher of color panel. Our system is simply not suited to support teachers of color. In last week’s discussion with Linda Darling-Hammond, Bettye Perkins, Cliff Janey, and Richard Ingersoll at the Teaching and Learning Conference, we had a lively discussion on the shortage of teachers of color. My comments came out of left field because I’m sure some of the audience …

lebronjamesloseschampionship

Up Next

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

I’ve changed my mind. We need to lift folks doing the work. A few years ago, my former principal, a colleague and I attended a special conference at New York University at the behest of one of NYC Department of Education’s deputy directors, who was slated to be on this crucial panel on high schools. NYU’s School of Education would present its findings on high school graduation rates, finding that the Bloomberg …

NotoriousBIG2

For What It’s Worth (On Blogging As A Teacher for Eight Years)

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

I hadn’t realized this until now, but I’ve now been blogging on this platform for eight years. I don’t feel all that different, but I’m almost certain I am. Looking through some of my older posts, I feel like a whole different writer, probably because I got my butt handed to me on numerous occasions by different editors along the way. As a classroom teacher, I don’t have the luxury …

brokenschools

The Crosshairs of High Expectations and Poverty

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

Everything is for the kids. Want to create a new program? Say it’s for the kids. Want to implement a new policy? Tell them it’s for the kids. Need to raze an entire school in a densely populated school district? Preface it with “We did it for the kids.” Need to convince the public that a frivolous measure of student learning like a VAM score should be weighted more than …

shrug-house

There Is No “How To” For Teacher Leadership

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the New Teacher Center conference in San Francisco, CA to discuss teacher leadership. It felt like forever since I used the words “teacher leader” to describe myself, but people have no idea what to do with me since I am in the classroom with a full program and am mentoring and speaking out about different ideas in teaching. Thus, teacher leader. Most …

kid_in_lab

What Works For My Kids

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

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 …

mlkdisobey

White Administrators’ Guilt

Jose Vilson Jose 22 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 …