monster

On Writing Like A Monster

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of moderating a non-fiction panel for Las Comadres and Compadres organization featuring former Colorlines editor Daisy Hernandez and writer Alina Garcia-Lapuerta. The panel was uproarious and chock full of information for the burgeoning writers in the audience, some of whom already have their own works in the audience. Even though I was there mainly to let the other panelists shine, I also had the …

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Derek Jeter

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

My first real introduction to baseball was my cousin Richie’s autographed Don Mattingly placard. He put it on his shelf after meeting him thanks to the Miliken Boys’ Club in 1991. I didn’t understand the sport, and didn’t care for it since I already had Patrick Ewing and the Madison Square Bullies playing at their peak. My interest in baseball grew because I too became a member of the Boys …

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A Love Supreme

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

For the last week or so, I’ve had NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter’s words ring in my head in his response to the current consternation about NFL running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. His quote “My mom did the best job she could do. My mom was wrong” juxtaposed with “You know what? Take em off the daggone field because, you know what, as a man, that’s the …

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Join The EduColor Movement, Part 1 of Many

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

It’s been a few years since Arvind Grover, ed-tech specialist in NYC, and I looked around boutique education conferences and said, “Wow, these spaces need a lot more diversity.” When a few of us sat there and said we’d create a clearinghouse to rate the diversity of any conference we came across, I didn’t think we’d have much impact. How many people of color were willing to jump into spaces …

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Listen To The Controversial Panel Featuring Dana Goldstein, Motoko Rich, and Me Right Here

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Hey everyone, Last night, I had the pleasure of being invited by Dana Goldstein, author of the must-read education history book of the year The Teacher Wars, and New York Times education writer Motoko Rich to speak at the New America NYC panel on Goldstein’s aforementioned book. We did a good job parsing some of the education issues of today. Glad the place was sold out, and there might be …

Building A Better Teacher by Elizabeth Green

Pedagogy First (A Note on Elizabeth Green’s Building A Better Teacher)

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Every so often, I love reading other folks talk about standards without any current teachers present in their conversation. Even a cursory read of education history in this country shows how intellectual [white] men throw their moral and scholarly swag about what teachers should and shouldn’t be focused on. On the other hand, the teachers I eavesdrop on try to out-intellectual the folks imposing their “thought leadership” onto those of …

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Not All My Teacherfolk Are My Kinfolk

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

Tiffanie Drayton’s open letter to the teachers who wore NYPD t-shirts on the first day of school ought to be printed and passed around in every staff meeting: To your Black and Latino students, many of whom must have serious conversations with their parents about safeguarding their person from those charged to serve and protect them — the NYPD — your actions are deeply hurtful. Any remaining innocence they brought …

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On Honest and Civil Conversation (Simmer Down Now)

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

The first audience reaction to my speech at the Network for Public Education came from a older, burly white man with big hands and a soft voice. Not that any of this scares me much since I’m from the hood, but context matters. “Jose, I’m glad you’re here and I appreciate what you had to say today, but, when you referred to Tea Party people as subhuman …” Whoa, what? …

My actual classroom from eight years ago. Same room this year, too.

Meeting My Once and Future Classroom

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Meet my once and future classroom. It once had a exposed wooden door, working lights, nine unmarked boxes, beige lockers, and a second year teacher scared for his career. I know this because I was him eight years ago. Throughout the year, the desks rumbled and shuffled about the class, sometimes in groups, in pairs, or in single row and file while students and their teacher prepared for tests of …