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For What It’s Worth (On Blogging As A Teacher for Eight Years)

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

I hadn’t realized this until now, but I’ve now been blogging on this platform for eight years. I don’t feel all that different, but I’m almost certain I am. Looking through some of my older posts, I feel like a whole different writer, probably because I got my butt handed to me on numerous occasions by different editors along the way. As a classroom teacher, I don’t have the luxury …

brokenschools

The Crosshairs of High Expectations and Poverty

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

Everything is for the kids. Want to create a new program? Say it’s for the kids. Want to implement a new policy? Tell them it’s for the kids. Need to raze an entire school in a densely populated school district? Preface it with “We did it for the kids.” Need to convince the public that a frivolous measure of student learning like a VAM score should be weighted more than …

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There Is No “How To” For Teacher Leadership

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the New Teacher Center conference in San Francisco, CA to discuss teacher leadership. It felt like forever since I used the words “teacher leader” to describe myself, but people have no idea what to do with me since I am in the classroom with a full program and am mentoring and speaking out about different ideas in teaching. Thus, teacher leader. Most …

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What Works For My Kids

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

The New York Times’ Anna North recently asked me if I was a believer in learning styles, and I’m like, “No.” That’s not my fault, really. As a younger teacher, many of the veteran teachers told me the long list of initiatives that they’d seen come and go in education research, where “education research” is a pejorative, not a compliment. Multiple intelligences. Learning styles. Workshop model. Differentiation. The new math …

rosa-parks

Why We Need Black History Month In The First Place

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Recently, PBS Newshour asked for my thoughts on Black History Month. After noticing that even some people of color railed against the idea of such a month, I decided to write a primer on why we needed them and why this matters for our students, all of them: I wanted to give the students a 10-minute lecture on the fact that groups used to lynch people of color for public …

mlkdisobey

White Administrators’ Guilt

Jose Vilson Jose 21 Comments

“This race discussion doesn’t apply to me.” Whenever we say that racism isn’t just discrimination of one set of people towards another, but a systemic set of power structures that benefits one (white) group over another. This goes double for principals and assistant principals because, when your standing already endows you with more power than others in the building, your responsibility towards being cultural competent is doubled as well. We …

Andrew Cuomo

Rescinding My Invite to Governor Andrew Cuomo

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

First off, Governor Andrew Cuomo is never getting an invitation to my classroom nor would I want him anywhere near my students. The most likely scenario is that he stops in for 10 minutes, listens to me do some math, stares at me coldly with the kids whispering “Who is this guy?” to each other, smirking with an “I told you that I’d drop by” look. Then, he’d ask me …

A System of Ninety Equations

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I barely know what week I’m in right now. We just finished the second marking period and we’re just starting to get into systems of equations. I went through a few moments of “I can’t believe this is what they turned in” to “Yes, exactly, this this this!” and everything in between. I’ve known loneliness intimately in school, embraced it, and hoped it meant my voice meant more and not …

Exclusive: The Classroom and the Precinct, Accurately [The Enemy]

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

My people, I recently wrote an article for the upstart mag The Enemy, expounding on my thoughts about the relationships between teachers and the police, pulling together Mobb Deep, Frank Serpico, and others for a piece that was / is absolutely necessary. Here’s a glimpse: To the eyes of the American public, it might seem like none of these are connected, but, to many people of color, the school-to-prison pipeline …

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Less Is More When It Comes To Teacher Time [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

My latest at Edutopia stems from a conversation I had with National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb and Maryland Teacher of the Year Jody Zepp last month at the Maryland State House for the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). We talked about everything under the sun, but one of the things that made people shift in their chairs was my proclamation that we need to cut teacher time in …