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

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, …

Jose VilsonSo What If It’s Not Relevant Right Now? (Just Math It)
blackirondoor

No Really, Stay In Class

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 …

Jose VilsonNo Really, Stay In Class
Nelson_Mandela_played_by_Idris_Elba

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and How We Plant Seeds

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 …

Jose VilsonMandela: Long Walk To Freedom and How We Plant Seeds

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

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 …

Jose VilsonGet Up, Stand Up, Before The PowerPointers Do [The Takeover, Part 1]
1010TryThis_02

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

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 …

Jose VilsonPop Your Collar For Parent-Teacher Conferences [New York Times]
Wu Tang Clan

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

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 …

Jose VilsonI’m The M.E.T.H.O.D. Man (Classroom Questioning, Tiger Style)
Lion Roar

Monster (Teaching In The Era of Evaluations)

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 …

Jose VilsonMonster (Teaching In The Era of Evaluations)
Mary Beth Hertz Clutching Gadgets

On Taking Professional Development Into Your Own Hands [CTQ]

Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Of course this comes from a real situation. Why else would I write it? Only on the Center for Teaching Quality: Yet, there’s a new type of professional development that’s arisen from connected educators. I’m calling it a third-rail professional development, a hybrid of tech savvy and a healthy dose of networking can make for professional development that neither stagnates …

Jose VilsonOn Taking Professional Development Into Your Own Hands [CTQ]

Questioning In The Classroom [Comment from Jim Doherty]

Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

One of my newer commenters, Jim Doherty, left this comment in reply to my Edutopia piece: The key piece to me is the questioning piece. I think that I always hope that my actions will serve as a model for my students, but I realize more and more that I need to explicitly point out the behavior that I want …

Jose VilsonQuestioning In The Classroom [Comment from Jim Doherty]
paultough

On Paul Tough and The Four Words I Can’t Stand In My Classroom [Edutopia]

Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

My latest Edutopia article explores the four words I can’t stand to hear from my students (with an analysis of the lies we tell in schools): The discussion around “I can’t do this” can be broken down into three general levels: They genuinely don’t understand the material. They’ve had a long day and just don’t have the energy to work …

Jose VilsonOn Paul Tough and The Four Words I Can’t Stand In My Classroom [Edutopia]