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 …


A Love Supreme

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

For the last week or so, I’ve had NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter’s words ring in my head in his response to the current consternation about NFL running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. His quote “My mom did the best job she could do. My mom was wrong” juxtaposed with “You know what? Take em off the daggone field because, you know what, as a man, that’s the …

The Clappety-Clap Bullshit [On Character Education]

Jose Vilson Jose 9 Comments

In different spheres, educators of all stripes have had conversations about this idea of “character education.” Before this year, I too used to equate character education with all the positive things about schools that concentrate on the socio-emotional as well as the academic sides of students. Especially during my time at Nativity Mission School and Xavier High School, I found myself immersed in lots of reflective activities and spiritual discussions. …


On Setting Expectations In Your Classroom [For The Student You Once Were]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

“You’re not old now. You’re old when you start teaching your former students’ kids. THAT’S when you know!” We laughed. Mr. Herrera is the type of teacher who had a way of reminding people that we should laugh at the process of aging as teachers, especially those of us who love our jobs. This year, I have the privilege of teaching three students whose siblings I’ve taught. While I absolutely …

The 10% I Rarely Reach

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 10 Comments

Today, one of my perpetually tardy students came in. I left my door open and, as usual, I let him in without little fanfare, because it’s not a situation I need to do a lot of yelling for. I told him good morning. He reciprocated. After I got to walking around, I noticed a student passing him work that had little relevance to math. Without yelling, I told the parties, …

Fire Extinguisher

Classroom Management Tip: Call The House, Not The Dean

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 8 Comments

Yesterday, something occurred to me as the dean walked past my class and our school had a change of period, I hadn’t once called the dean for anything this whole year. The students I’ve had this year are on average the same as most of the other classes I’ve had, behaviorally and academically. They’re still precarious about studying and homework (something else I’ll have to discuss next week), and they’re …

Boy As King

Laws of Power Revisited

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

When I last discussed the acclaimed 48 Laws of Power, I was still heavily entrenched in the workings of Mao, Bismarck, Talleyrand, and Lola Montez, and thus found myself quickly able to apply my readings into my daily work as a math teacher in the NYC public school system. It became especially apparent after talking to a cluster of well-known bloggers personally that these 48 Laws not only apply in …


Pretty Sure I Got This

Jose Vilson Jose 10 Comments

Today was one of those days in which I had my homeroom for the entire day. That happens every 2 months or so, when they have a state-provided exam and the homeroom teacher has to administer said exam, order them alphabetically, and still have the same students for a double period of class right after lunch. It’s a daunting task to have the same group of students for 5 periods, …