stapleshighschool

Is Fundraising The Path Towards Equitable Schools? [New York Times]

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

Last week, The New York Times asked me if I believe in fundraising. My initial answer, “Yes, but it depends on what the money is for.” You should feel free to disagree, but I’m always at a loss about fundraising because it perpetuates inequity in our schools. While one set of kids has to raise funds just for new textbooks and basketball uniforms, the other can just ask a few …

Voting Happens In Between Elections

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

What do I tell my students about voting? “You put [Democrats] first, and they put you last. ‘Cause you’re a chump. A political chump! … Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you are dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that …

boss

Bad Principals, Too

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

At this point, I’ve tackled bad teachers not once but twice, and even wondered if I was a bad teacher. Yet, people fully expected me to talk about bad administration, especially bad principals. Sadly, the current narrative amongst teachers is to lay all the blame at the feed of administrators, at students, at parents, and everything and one else for a number of reasons, some good, some not-so-much. Even my …

Be Kind ... - Plato

Week 8: Bleeding Openly [Am I A Bad Teacher?]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 10 Comments

“I can’t. I just can’t.” After class on Thursday, I started to strongly reconsider why I wanted to do this project I’m having my students do. The premise is for them to understand operations with scientific notation by modeling the solar system. This went off mostly without a hitch last year and I got some of the most brilliant pieces I’d ever seen from students that the school usually expects …

mrskrabappelbart

Bad Teachers Everywhere, All The Time, Even You

Jose Vilson Jose 11 Comments

In my last post, there was a big conversation in other areas about this idea of “bad teachers” and whether I should have paid more attention to discussing “bad teachers.” Cameron Diaz notwithstanding, the term “bad teacher” is a super-sensitive topic, one I don’t wish to treat with kid gloves, but a fine-toothed comb, because it merits serious discussion, especially through a racial and class lens. But let’s this out …

timecoverbadteachers

Bad Teachers [Running Out Of Time]

Jose Vilson Jose 22 Comments

A few questions to ask yourself before you talk to me about bad teachers. What is a bad teacher? Out of the dozens of teachers you’ve had, how many of them would you actually call “bad”? Are you successful because or despite those teachers? Did your school environment exacerbate or blunt the effect of the bad teacher? Would you have “made it” if the bad teacher was a good teacher? …

Homer Simpson Chokes Bart

When Teachers and Students Fight

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

The latest viral video comes out of Baltimore, MD, where the Orioles weren’t the ones swinging. This video, a shaky mess that needs watching and re-watching to fully get what’s happening, starts with a student pacing back and forth while the teacher makes a phone call to someone, presumably a parent. The fight ensues when the student throws a binder to the teacher’s face, prompting the teacher to charge at …

James Baldwin

Writing Yourself Right Out Of The Burning House

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

“Dear Self (& other writers)–If you’re not writing with the urgency of exile, what’s the point? Which is to say, your writing should convey so much immediacy, fire and risk that you chance being kicked out of something with each line. Your writing should make you fucking quake.” – Airea D. Matthews Kelly Wickham shared this quote with her friends recently and also commented that she thought about my recent …

burnttoast

Race, Class, and Acceptability As A Connected Educator [Aspiring To Karen]

Jose Vilson Jose 9 Comments

Karen Lewis matters to me for a myriad of reasons, both personal and activist. She isn’t just the leader of the Chicago Teachers’ Union and the CORE caucus that took the education world by storm with fiery oratory and community-centered energy. She symbolizes a new vision for progressive education reform, one that speaks proactively about the education deforms with the nuance that only a Black woman such as herself can. …