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 …

i-love-lucy-chocolate-factory-scene-belt

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 …

blackirondoor

No Really, Stay In Class

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 7 Comments

After lunch, students drag their feet to class, chatting it up with friends in the hallway, taking elongated sips of fountain water, peeking into their former teachers’ classes, and generally finding any excuse to not go to their next class. Even as passionate, deliberate, and rock star-ish as I am, kids still do this for my class, too. Students after lunch drag their feet on the routines we established in …

Nelson_Mandela_played_by_Idris_Elba

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and How We Plant Seeds

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Confession: I didn’t get a chance to see Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom before taking my students. Confession #2: My kids wouldn’t have gone to see it either if I didn’t bring them myself. Here’s the thing about auto-bio pics that people don’t want to say, but will readily admit: if our youth don’t get a sense of why something or someone is important, they won’t pay attention to it. …

Get Up, Stand Up, Before The PowerPointers Do [The Takeover, Part 1]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Because I don’t really take breaks, I’m writing a three-part series at my other space. Here’s an excerpt: Generally, you get the idea, but you’re left wondering, “How can we do this better? How can I do this better?” Yet, when it comes down to it, too many of us are still waiting for someone to hold their hand into their voices, usher them in as the chosen one, or …

1010TryThis_02

Pop Your Collar For Parent-Teacher Conferences [New York Times]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

A few weeks ago, I was invited to write for New York Times’ Room for Debate, a special web section of the Times dedicated to debating intense subjects of the week. This one was dedicated to parent-teacher conferences. I wrote: Critics call it a waste of time, of course. They argue that only the “good” students’ parents participate, and so there’s not much to discuss. They are of the opinion …

Wu Tang Clan

I’m The M.E.T.H.O.D. Man (Classroom Questioning, Tiger Style)

Jose Vilson Jose, Mr. Vilson 7 Comments

Never be afraid to keep students at arms’ length from you work-wise. Therein lies the struggle right now with the immediacy of our work as educators. Too often, we torture ourselves trying to give away all the answers instead of waiting patiently for the right time to insert ourselves. The more we keep feeding them and feeding them and feeding them, the less we can expect our kids to think …

Lion Roar

Monster (Teaching In The Era of Evaluations)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

The way I taught this year, you’d think I had a chip on my shoulder. I do, and now I own it. The last two months, I revamped my whole teaching style, not because Charlotte Danielson or any other education expert told me to do it, but because I’m in my ninth year, and damnit, if I can’t do get ‘er done now, what am I doing with my life? …