The One Thing I Don’t Do When I’m Assessing Students

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 11 Comments

I’ve now taught almost 11 years, starting in the throes of overtesting and overstandardizing. I’ve given multiple forms of assessments over different periods of time. I’ve taught all of the middle school grades and tutored lower and higher grades. I’ve taken my own set of exams for teacher certifications, most …

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Why We Must Believe (Our Formation)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 4 Comments

“Come on, let’s get this done, I believe in you.” “Why do you always say that, Mr. Vilson, like …” “Um, because I believe in you.” “Oh my God, this is, like, the only class I hear a teacher say that …” It was a weird moment for me. I …


Were You At The Protest, Too?

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

“Were you at the protest, too?” I’ve had no less than four people ask my directly why I haven’t written about my classroom experiences lately. Some of it stems from speaking truth to the gaping hole I continue to see in education writing, namely the intersectional race lens of events …


The Other Half of Teachers

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 5 Comments

After the bell sounded today, as with every day, I like to sit at my desk for 10-20 minutes to decompress. I exhale a few times, staring at the scuffed white board filled with numbers and figures hastily put together from students’ responses. I don’t capture dialogue well, but all …

Be Kind ... - Plato

Week 8: Bleeding Openly [Am I A Bad Teacher?]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 10 Comments

“I can’t. I just can’t.” After class on Thursday, I started to strongly reconsider why I wanted to do this project I’m having my students do. The premise is for them to understand operations with scientific notation by modeling the solar system. This went off mostly without a hitch last …

Homer Simpson Chokes Bart

When Teachers and Students Fight

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

The latest viral video comes out of Baltimore, MD, where the Orioles weren’t the ones swinging. This video, a shaky mess that needs watching and re-watching to fully get what’s happening, starts with a student pacing back and forth while the teacher makes a phone call to someone, presumably a …


Week 4: All The Students [World Teachers Day]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 0 Comments

On Friday, EduShyster visited my classroom, the last leg of her NYC tour. Anyone reads this blog knows I have a profound respect for her writing and her approach to talking about education, so much so that, when she asked if she could visit my classroom, I enthusiastically said “Yes!” …


Week 2: The Best Laid Lesson Plans

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Last week, I found myself as restless as the first day of school. In fact, I got to school at 7:10am every day, when school usually starts at 8am. I racked my brain around what the next logical step is in my curriculum. Negative exponents are especially difficult if students …


Week 1: I Belong Here (On Starting Exponents)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 7 Comments

I’ve started my unit on exponents the same exact way for the last five years. I’d give my students the definition of exponent and base, and give them examples of how each of them work. From there, we’d see what happens as I made tables to show growth patterns. What …