Everyday Above Ground is a Good One

Jose VilsonJose11 Comments

Joe BuddenApparently, I’m going to the National Council of Teachers for Mathematics National Conference in April. I don’t know if you heard, but I’m kind of a big deal … . I hope to see some of you who are teachers there as well. I’ll be the sharply dressed dude listening to Malcolm Gladwell.

Today, I was supposed to have an observation, but it didn’t happen due to the 5th Grade ELA test, and I’m grateful in some ways. I felt I was rushing things a bit, and that’s a feeling I don’t like. I especially believe after this new (solar) year, I’ve made a concerted effort to see the classroom and actions through the kids’ eyes. I stayed in my classroom until 530pm making sure that, when the kids came in the morning, they had a more comfortable setting for themselves than what I felt I provided. I’m tired of the negative energy my homeroom class has, so maybe if I change the environment a bit, I’d get a little more positivity back.

Because, as much confidence as I have in my skills, I also have a weakness for the kids that often makes me lose sleep and become emotional and admittedly defensive for them. On the surface, I remain stern and critical of them, but I can’t help but love them even at their worst. I still show up to school 30 minutes before I should just to get a good lesson plan going. I follow my homeroom sometimes through their classes just to see how they’re doing in those classes, and I’ll even sit in. Most teachers like that because it gives them a sense that we’re all working together. Obviously, there’s a sense of trust there and I would never violate it. I just know that I’d do as much as I had to to make sure my kids got as far as they needed to in life.  Frankly, I can only hope to teach as much to them as I’ve learned from them.

Everyday, something new and different appears on my doorstep. So much oscillation, yet I take it in stride, hoping to learn something from these vast experiences.

jose, who still can’t believe he’s going to the home of the utah jazz …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 11

  1. e

    It is so exciting that all these people whose blogs I read will actually be in the same town as me. Even if I won’t meet them all, it’s still nice to know that every once in a while there is an actual possibility of meetings :) I hope you all will have great time here.

  2. Tracy Rosen

    I did the same thing! I rearranged the environment and rearranged the way we do things a bit too – the head-space environment.

    It seems to be that time of year…for a change. I think that because we in the land of dark-when-we-leave-in-the-morning and dark-when-we-get-home are craving sunshine around now, we focus even more on creating positive situations to replace the light.

    Boy, that sure sounds hoaky. But I’ll tell you a secret…I think it is true.

  3. Post

    @ e: I’m sure. NYC, born and raised, man.

    @ Frum: Yeah, well it’s not part of our contract so of course people won’t do it.

    @ Tracy: I’d like to hear how you did it so maybe I can get an idea for my own classroom.

  4. Shelly

    Sounds like you’re an absolutely fantastic teacher, Jose. Those kids are blessed to have you in their corner…

    Hope you have a fun and productive time at the conferecne.

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  6. luzmaria3

    Congratulations sir!!!! You will love being part of this conference. We, teachers, have a tendency to forget that there are many more of us out there. It’s exciting and rejuvenating to be in a conference for professionals and get treated like professionals for a change and not just “some teacher.” Educators are a rare breed. You seem to just love them little people. They are lucky to have that support because it show your genuine interest in their well-being. Children are very perceptive and do appreciate the time and energy you devote to them even though they do not know the words yet. Nice Mr. V!

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