My actual classroom from eight years ago. Same room this year, too.

Meeting My Once and Future Classroom

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Meet my once and future classroom. It once had a exposed wooden door, working lights, nine unmarked boxes, beige lockers, and a second year teacher scared for his career. I know this because I was him eight years ago. Throughout the year, the desks rumbled and shuffled about the class, sometimes in groups, in pairs, or in single row and file while students and their teacher prepared for tests of …

Our School by Sam Chaltain

Our School and How I Just Want To Hear What Happened

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

This is a quick blog recommending that you read Our School by Sam Chaltain. I’m in the throes of reading three edu-books in a row while promoting mine. What Chaltain provides in buckets is a first-hand account of what’s happening in two different, but clearly interesting schools in Washington, DC. In case you’re wondering, this isn’t a book review. For most of my educational career, I’ve mostly read books that already come …

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On Due Process, Or What You Call Tenure

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 12 Comments

For the purposes of this essay, I’m using the term “due process” in lieu of tenure because people like Whoopi Goldberg (and millions of others) confuse “tenure” for “job for life.” If that’s what we call “tenure,” then “due process” is more exact. More and more, what it means for K-12 educators and college professors is coming to a confluence. As far as my contract is concerned, it’s not like, …

Marvin Gaye singing

Adults, Please Get Out The Way [How Students Do It]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

This morning, I imagined Marvin Gaye would have a few things to say about what’s going on today: Today was supposed to be Michael Brown’s fourth day in college, getting acclimated with the ins and outs of college life, surely different than the humdrum K-12 bells. Sadly, he never got his chance at college and career readiness as the Ferguson police’s hands still smell of blood and tear gas. We …

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When Can We Talk About Race? (Michael + Trayvon + Renisha + …)

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

This is often the way education conversations go: Higher-Up: Hey, so what do people want to talk about? Teacher 1: Can we talk about teacher evaluation? Higher-Up: Sure, what’s on your mind? Teacher 1: Well, here it goes. [long diatribe about how great / terrible Danielson is] Higher-Up: Well, OK. Anyone else? Teacher 2 (of color): Can we talk about race now? Higher-Up: Sounds complicated. We need a more appropriate …

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Who Taught Educators To Hate Themselves? (About Lists and Authenticity)

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

The following is a debate I’ve had with a few folk, so here is an uninterrupted fleshing out of these thoughts. Michael Petrilli put out another list of edu-influentials this year. This list, unlike the last time I wrote about this, didn’t need any particular prodding from me regarding diversity and inclusion of women who discuss education policy. This list, unlike the last time, kept Sabrina, Audrey, and me, and …

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Another Reason I Don’t Like FOIL In Math

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 12 Comments

I recently wrote an article for Edutopia about factoring polynomials using areas and why FOIL is absolute crap: For one, I’m not a fan of FOIL (first-outside-inside-last) for a plethora of reasons. While I think it’s handy to have an acronym that reminds students of a procedure, it only works in a very special case. In this case, FOIL works only for multiplying a binomial by another binomial. Does FOIL …

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Eduflack’s Review of This Is Not A Test, For Argument’s Sake

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Today, Patrick Riccards of EduFlack wrote a review of my book This Is Not A Test, and it moved me in a major way. Read this excerpt: But most importantly, I walked away thinking I want someone like Vilson to be teaching my kiddos. This is a teacher who cares and a teacher who is making a difference each and every day he steps into his classroom. We may disagree …

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Personalization Depends On The Person

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 8 Comments

Any so-called innovation deserves a second and third look when it’s brought to kids, even if it’s from Sir Ken Robinson. I saw this in my timeline, which says the following: “Education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an …