Text of My Speech in Little Rock, AR (Decenter Yourself)

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

In a small, yet simple act of deflection, I managed to decenter myself and put the onus of learning on the students so they can take ownership. I ask them to imagine “What if I wasn’t there? Would you still learn?” I don’t quit until they’ve learned how to ask good questions, not just of themselves, but also of the content they’re learning and the teacher himself.






Between Little Rock and This Hard Place

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

“She wasn’t with the rest of the other Black students. Can you imagine having all those harassers, reporters, and guards blocking her from letting her get into school?” As I was listening to the ranger tell us the story of Elizabeth Eckford’s first day of school at Central High School …






The Kids Can’t Read, But They Can Read You

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

When I was seven years old, a frio-frio man used to park his cart in front of our elementary school in the spring and sell his Italian ices for 50¢ for 2 scoops. Whenever my mom had enough change, she’d give me two quarters and I’d treat myself to the …






Who Are The Rest of Y’all? (On Dr. Emdin’s For White Folks …)

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

First, it’s important to note that I’ve been following Dr. Christopher Emdin’s ascent into superstar academic. From the hip-hop pedagogy classes he organized at Columbia University’s Teachers College and the collaborations with Wu-Tang Clan elder statesman GZA to conferences in South America and rendezvous with Kendrick Lamar, the dapper dandy …






Education Policy’s Roost (On Social Justice Warriors)

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

Less than a year ago, I was in a heated conversation (we’ll call it that) where a few folks who disagreed on education policy brought their frustrations to full display. Unbeknownst to the folks who I agreed with, the conservative dissenters are encouraged to engage with, start sh*t, and frustrate …






Gritting My Teeth Over Grit (Bootstrap Theories)

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

On Facebook, I wrote: My worst enemy isn’t just the system, but what the system does to my students’ self-worth and confidence. The daily fight against belief. Don’t talk to me about grit; talk to me about systems of callousness and the incapacity for love and compassion. Talk to me …






We Must Not Be Defeated (Optimism In May)

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

62 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, we’re still having a passive-aggressive argument over whether every school-aged child deserves equitable funding for their school. Three-score and two years ago, the legendary Thurgood Marshall led one of the most influential civil rights cases in the nation in BvB, a case …






Education Giveth, Education Taketh Away [Guest Post]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts 5 Comments

Education in the form of boarding schools caused so much destruction, pain, grief and struggle that our people are still feeling today. Boarding schools are the direct cause of many of our native languages now being extinct or endangered, the cause of so many lost ceremonies and so many people so far from our traditions and beliefs.

Education has stolen so much from us, but has the power to give it all back.