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My Contribution To #FergusonSyllabus [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

Hey everyone, I wrote up a resource on how to teach about and beyond the events of Ferguson, and included examples of how some teachers are already doing it. Please read and let me know what you think. 3. Bring it back to the individual. We don’t often get the chance to reflect about our misgivings or perceptions of each other. Especially in diverse communities (and I do mean diverse …

Classroom Window

Changing The Narrative, Right From My Classroom

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Tomorrow, New York City teachers go for their first day back from vacation. With no kids and two weeks to clean out their caches (well, some of us), we’ll hopefully come back refreshed and ready to take on the relentless energies of the burgeoning young minds in front of us. Or whatever it is we choose to believe. This year, I’ve never been as excited to hop in and do …

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On Due Process, Or What You Call Tenure

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 13 Comments

For the purposes of this essay, I’m using the term “due process” in lieu of tenure because people like Whoopi Goldberg (and millions of others) confuse “tenure” for “job for life.” If that’s what we call “tenure,” then “due process” is more exact. More and more, what it means for K-12 educators and college professors is coming to a confluence. As far as my contract is concerned, it’s not like, …

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Another Reason I Don’t Like FOIL In Math

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 12 Comments

I recently wrote an article for Edutopia about factoring polynomials using areas and why FOIL is absolute crap: For one, I’m not a fan of FOIL (first-outside-inside-last) for a plethora of reasons. While I think it’s handy to have an acronym that reminds students of a procedure, it only works in a very special case. In this case, FOIL works only for multiplying a binomial by another binomial. Does FOIL …

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Personalization Depends On The Person

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 8 Comments

Any so-called innovation deserves a second and third look when it’s brought to kids, even if it’s from Sir Ken Robinson. I saw this in my timeline, which says the following: “Education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an …

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Reframing Expertise in Education (The Habitual Line-Stepper)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 9 Comments

In my travels this summer, I’m often asked to ponder this idea of expertise, and specifically, how education researchers and those in higher education can help K-12 teachers. Since I entered the teaching profession almost a decade ago, I’ve had this struggle with this idea. From articles where a writer with a PhD in education lays out a plan for how school systems should be run to speeches where a …

TeacherOfColor

Teacher Quality And The Decline In Teachers of Color

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 8 Comments

This morning, I came across this article on Huffington Post (I know, I know, hear me out, though) and thought I should ask questions about President Obama’s initiative to enforce former President George W. Bush’s mandates for “excellent teachers” to stay in the highest-need communities. Read this: President Barack Obama’s new initiative, titled “Excellent Educators For All,” seeks to ensure that states comply with the George W. Bush-era No Child …

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Hope Makes Teaching More Than A Job

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Goodness, that last EduShyster’s interview was epic. There’s a whole piece that we didn’t even get to share with you because, well, it would hurt some people’s favorite bloggers / heroes / activists’ feelings. Really, the biggest difference between Audrey Watters’ awesome Twitter interview pre-This Is Not A Test and EduShyster’s recent, also awesome interview was the relationship each has to me. I consider Audrey a friend and, dare I …

Michael Mulgrew, Carmen Farina, and Bill de Blasio

Retroactively Paying It Forward (On The City – UFT Contract)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

In case it hasn’t already flooded your airwaves already, the De Blasio administration and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) reached a tentative agreement to finally get teachers their just due. While I haven’t pored over the details of the contract, I’m certainly happy with any salary increase at this point. After four years without contract, the cost of living has jumped higher and higher without matching recompense for some …

So What If It’s Not Relevant Right Now? (Just Math It)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 4 Comments

This week, I’m supposed to teach my students how to solve a system of equations by elimination. It’s the hardest of the four ways  for solving systems (graphing, substitution, guess-and-checking), and I’m not entirely sure everyone in the class gets the first three. The main point of the unit is to determine exactly where two or more linear relationships meet, if they ever do. The situation could be realistic (two …