Classroom Window

Changing The Narrative, Right From My Classroom

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Tomorrow, New York City teachers go for their first day back from vacation. With no kids and two weeks to clean out their caches (well, some of us), we’ll hopefully come back refreshed and ready to take on the relentless energies of the burgeoning young minds in front of us. Or whatever it is we choose to believe. This year, I’ve never been as excited to hop in and do …

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 …

Ferguson-Michael-Brown-690

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 …

You Can’t Educate With Us (On Tone-Policing When Silent)

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

I called someone a racist this past weekend. And a sexist for good measure. I don’t have much authoritative experience with the latter as I do the former, and I don’t go throwing around such a title lightly. I won’t go into the incident, but it was a long string of events that triggered me using the word, and, soon thereafter, people started opening up about some of the latent …

The Temptations

Just My Imagination Running Away With Me (A Post-CCSS World)

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I‘ve seen this article in my e-mails and feeds no less than ten times this morning. Much of this is old news for me since, if you’ve put all the pieces together for the last four years, it’s fairly obvious just how invested Bill Gates has been in getting Common Core State Standards moved across different desks. It’s also obvious how many folks, from union leaders to business leaders, have …

US First Lady Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama and Why Teachers Need To Embrace Critique

Jose Vilson Jose 24 Comments

Every time someone says something, anything, about teachers, without fail, a naysayer always nags how it’s a conspiracy against teachers as a whole. For instance, a recent commercial about the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum started with a father asking his boy, “You like your teachers this year?” to which the boy replied, “Sure.” Some took that as a coordinated effort by Major League Baseball, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and …

i-love-lucy-chocolate-factory-scene-belt

Hope Makes Teaching More Than A Job

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Goodness, that last EduShyster’s interview was epic. There’s a whole piece that we didn’t even get to share with you because, well, it would hurt some people’s favorite bloggers / heroes / activists’ feelings. Really, the biggest difference between Audrey Watters’ awesome Twitter interview pre-This Is Not A Test and EduShyster’s recent, also awesome interview was the relationship each has to me. I consider Audrey a friend and, dare I …

Thurgood Marshall

Racism Without Racists: The School Re-segregation Edition

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

Today, ProPublica released a special report on their website dedicated to the re-segregation of America’s public schools. With the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision on May 17th approaching, ProPublica has focused this special section on Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where three separate and equally devastating stories will be told as case studies to highlight the effects of “letting” dreams of integration die on their own. Unfortunately, progress …

Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Voting Act Signing

Your Kids Don’t Actually Feel Like They Belong In School

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Today, a friend forwarded me a report from the Pew Research Center that focused on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. An excerpt: But as historic as it was, a half century later many Americans — particularly blacks — still believe that the country has a ways to go in overcoming racial disparities. A CBS News poll conducted in late March found that while 59% of Americans — …

Jose Vilson, CCSS Panel, Network for Public Education

Public Education For The Public Good (On Inclusion)

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

  This past week has been nothing short of nuts. I had the opportunity to attend (and present and moderate) at the first annual Network for Public Education Conference, a gathering of education activists from across the country, including Diane Ravitch (the organization’s president), Deborah Meier, Karen Lewis, John Kuhn, and a whole host of names everyone has seen in the education sphere. My first real honor was tuning out …