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Open Doors, Open Classrooms, Open Minds

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 13 Comments

A few days ago, United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew asked a collection of us, “How many of you teach with your doors open?” I presumed he meant metaphorically, so I raised my hand. During breakfast, he reiterated the push for teacher professionalism, and one of the keys to school success in his mind is opening our doors to the rest of our school. I’m assuming he meant opening …

Charlotte Danielson

Boredom, Thy Name Is Charlotte Danielson (On Rubrics and Misuse)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 6 Comments

“And another thing!” I’ve always wanted to start a post off like that, like I was in the middle of an impassioned diatribe and you just happened to step in to the thousand-person auditorium to hear me just get cooking. But then I snapped out of that dream and found myself in another boring Danielson training. For those not in the know, the NYC Department of Education in conjunction with …

Teacherpreneurs, The Book

My Feature In The New Book, Teacherpreneurs

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

First off, happy Labor Day to all. As you can probably tell, I’ve been writing my heart out. I’m surprised by some of the spaces that have asked me to write, too. News on that forthcoming. In the meantime, I wrote a personal confession about my job as a teacher on my new CTQ spot: Confession: when they came to my school, I felt a little trepidation. I’d known Barnett …

Grant Wiggins, What issss UBD?

Grant Wiggins and How I View Math Curriculum

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

This week, a few of us got into a discussion, and involved Grant Wiggins. He calls himself a troublemaker, but I don’t remember seeing him at the last few meetings, and I’m the treasurer. In any case, for his 100th blog, he wrote this: Algebra is a dumb course. It survives only by unthinking habit. It cannot be justified intellectually as a subject, really. It is just a set of …

Don't Drink and Derive

Math As A Merit Badge (And Other Comments)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

The responses to my last post about math (who said I’m not a math blogger again?) ranged from the plauditory to the super-critical. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite comments to my last piece. First, Michael Doyle sets the record straight: Algebra II has become a badge, one of many, that pretends to separate middle class white boys from, well, everybody else. You can pass A2 without understanding a whole …

No One Puts Baby In The Corner

No One Puts Algebra 2 In A Corner (Math For All Kids)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 21 Comments

First, let me say that this Nicholson Baker article already starts off wrong by not discussing al-Khwarizmi’s contributions to algebra, mainly NAMING it. Secondly, this conversation about math reminds me of the conversation we had about Andrew Hacker’s article last year. Here’s another guy who ostensibly doesn’t have a focus in any math-related subjects trying to reform math by limiting how much math students get. I wonder if he thinks …

Bayard Rustin

Know Your Stuff (And Other Thoughts On Teacher Leadership) [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

I wrote an epic post on Edutopia about transforming teacher leadership, especially for those just starting out. Here’s something you ought to know: 1. Know Your Stuff My advice to any teacher leader, new or old: know what you’re talking about. Teachers respect leaders who have expertise and demonstrate confidence in that expertise. Having classroom experience goes a long way, but if our message doesn’t sound classroom-based or substantive, it …

Pay Teachers

On Selling Your Lesson Plans [Making Money As A Teacher]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 8 Comments

Do you want to make money as a teacher? Of course you do. You know how hard it is to make money as a teacher? We already work enough unpaid hours grading papers, calling parents, and writing lesson plans. Why not profit off of it? These and other questions came up today because a frequent commenter asked me on my Facebook page what I thought about this topic. I said …

sidethumbs

The Difference Between “Best Practices” and Teacher Expertise [TransformED]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

My latest at TransformED. It’s been a long time, but I thought I’d share. Check this: Obviously, I would love for the students to prove me wrong, but in my experience, I haven’t yet. If anything, it tells me that, if I know the existing issues, I can spend more time working with students and getting deeper into my students’ academic and personal needs. Autonomy in teaching is slowly becoming …