Eye

Retinas Flash in the Dark

Eye

Eye

Last week, I had a bad experience with the only class I have to teach this year. It wasn’t a major deal, but on the day before Halloween, after lunch where they’re hopped up on lunch food and inordinate amounts of sweets, with no uniforms on, and the dean in an important meeting, the general security and relative calm of the day eludes us. I planned a whole project complete with rubrics, instructions, and the whole 9. I modeled it for them and I even did a single one that was a little simpler, hoping they’d have gotten it. It took hours for me to get together, and lots of revisions afterwards.

And from all accounts, I may have failed. Hard.

I tried not to take it too personally, but my sense of urgency is much higher than most of my students can fathom. For me, a school year is really brief compared to the supposed curriculum we’re asked to cover. While I’ve been slowing down a lot to try and make sure my students master some of these critical pieces, I’m still struggling with the idea of whether I need to accept this strange phase of change on behalf of my students on some days or simply become more stringent on what I expect. The reactions to the pressure were anywhere from perplexed to irritated, and I’m still learning kids who I’ve had since 6th grade.

Yet, a part of me keeps going. Even when we’re walking in the dark, our retinas flash because we’re still seeking enlightenment. It’ll be fine so long as I keep seeking the light.

Mr. Vilson, who’s honest about writing everyday from here ’til the 30th …

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.

Jose VilsonRetinas Flash in the Dark