Politics Are Always At Play In Our Classrooms

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

On the Wednesday after Election Day 2016, I told myself to maintain my composure. For three weeks, I heard my mostly South and Central American students excoriate the President-Elect for his racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic comments over the last year. My students call out malicious behaviors quicker than many in …


Three Ways To Reclaim Your Joy As A Teacher

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

This weekend, I had the joy and pleasure of keynoting the ECET2MA2016 conference in Cambridge, MA. Weird wasn’t even the word. I was a Yankee fan in the middle of Red Sox town and had a Macbook in a Microsoft building. I’ve railed on a number of occasions against the …


A Few Questions With Marylin Zuniga (An Interview)

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

For the better part of a decade, I’ve been exploring the idea of social justice education. While not a new idea, it’s picked up steam over the last couple of years with the Black Lives Matter movements, ethnic studies initiatives, and the need for diversifying the teaching profession. In the …


Let Students Pronounce Themselves (On Pronouns and Identity) [Guest Post]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts 5 Comments

But we must, of course, keep doing the work. We must constantly reimagine what we teach and how we teach it. We must make our schools places that welcome and center, rather than simply tolerate or accommodate, trans students and students of color.*

Here’s one move I made at the start of this school year: letting students pronoun/ce themselves on the first day.


Fear of a Black Educator, Part 2

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

[Here’s part 1 of this series.] You’ve now watched the umpteenth version of a person receiving unwarranted capital punishment for their pigmentation. These videos autoplay on your TV screen and your social media timelines. You’re inundated with rage in the form of speeches and blogs. You’ve read up on the …


Fear Of A Black Educator, Part 1

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

Last night, in a fit of angst, I sent off a series of tweets: It’s hard telling kids to pledge allegiance to a flag when its representatives barely represent us. #TerenceCrutcher — Jose Vilson (@TheJLV) September 20, 2016 Without hesitation, someone decided to reply with “Why not move to a …


Love and Hate, Sorta (It’s Only Been Two Days)

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

“Vilson, tu si ere malo!” It was the most random comment. For whatever reason, middle school students crack me up. Perhaps a large part of their being necessitates testing limits within the first few days of getting to know a teacher. Perhaps they insist that the first two days don’t …

Dumi Lewis

A Brick In The Path (Promised Lands Are Never Promises Kept)

Jose Vilson Jose 0 Comments

“Originally a biblical reference to the land of Canaan promised to the descendants of Jacob, The Promised Land represented a new physical space where the old social order would be dissolved and from which opportunity would spring. The Promised Land was geographic, political, and simultaneously corporeal and non-corporeal.” From the …

Kaden Pagani, 8, left, and his brother Kingston, 6, carry signs as they march down Broadway toward Frank Ozawa Plaza during a Black Lives Matters protest in Oakland on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Image by Michael Short.

Show Solidarity with Words & Actions

Rusul Alrubail Jose 1 Comment

Audre Lorde calls for our silence to be transformed into language and action in her 1977 speech. But if our silence will not protect us, then why do we hold on to it for comfort? Why do revert to silence when we witness, see and read about the injustices and cruelty of this world? Why do we let fear take over? Why do we let compliance sink in?

Crestwood High School varsity cheerleading captain MicKayla Ketter plays with toddler class 5-B at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 15, 2012. Ketter and members of her high schoolÕs cheer squad came to teach children about sportsmanship and teamwork.

Five Ways To Show Students You Care

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

“How do you show students you care and love them?” Someone asked me that this afternoon. And every other week. Shout-out to the other eighth grade math teacher who asked it. I’m not about the touchy-feely stuff; I prefer to discuss techniques, strategies, and content where possible. I prefer to talk about …