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. 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. 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. 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. 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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