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There Is No “How To” For Teacher Leadership

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the New Teacher Center conference in San Francisco, CA to discuss teacher leadership. It felt like forever since I used the words “teacher leader” to describe myself, but people have no idea what to do with me since I am in the classroom with a full program and am mentoring and speaking out about different ideas in teaching. Thus, teacher leader. Most …

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What Works For My Kids

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

The New York Times’ Anna North recently asked me if I was a believer in learning styles, and I’m like, “No.” That’s not my fault, really. As a younger teacher, many of the veteran teachers told me the long list of initiatives that they’d seen come and go in education research, where “education research” is a pejorative, not a compliment. Multiple intelligences. Learning styles. Workshop model. Differentiation. The new math …

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Why We Need Black History Month In The First Place

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Recently, PBS Newshour asked for my thoughts on Black History Month. After noticing that even some people of color railed against the idea of such a month, I decided to write a primer on why we needed them and why this matters for our students, all of them: I wanted to give the students a 10-minute lecture on the fact that groups used to lynch people of color for public …

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White Administrators’ Guilt

Jose Vilson Jose 21 Comments

“This race discussion doesn’t apply to me.” Whenever we say that racism isn’t just discrimination of one set of people towards another, but a systemic set of power structures that benefits one (white) group over another. This goes double for principals and assistant principals because, when your standing already endows you with more power than others in the building, your responsibility towards being cultural competent is doubled as well. We …

Exclusive: The Classroom and the Precinct, Accurately [The Enemy]

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

My people, I recently wrote an article for the upstart mag The Enemy, expounding on my thoughts about the relationships between teachers and the police, pulling together Mobb Deep, Frank Serpico, and others for a piece that was / is absolutely necessary. Here’s a glimpse: To the eyes of the American public, it might seem like none of these are connected, but, to many people of color, the school-to-prison pipeline …

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Less Is More When It Comes To Teacher Time [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

My latest at Edutopia stems from a conversation I had with National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb and Maryland Teacher of the Year Jody Zepp last month at the Maryland State House for the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). We talked about everything under the sun, but one of the things that made people shift in their chairs was my proclamation that we need to cut teacher time in …

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For My Fellow Male Educators of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

My fellow men of color in the education sphere, Recently, there’s been lots of conversation around training and retaining more men of color to become K-12 teachers. Because there’s only 3% of us in the profession currently, seldom do I speak up and out against, or provide caveat to, elevating that number in the least. My experience is limited in that I haven’t met the 90,000 of us who stand …

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The Other Half of Teachers

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 5 Comments

After the bell sounded today, as with every day, I like to sit at my desk for 10-20 minutes to decompress. I exhale a few times, staring at the scuffed white board filled with numbers and figures hastily put together from students’ responses. I don’t capture dialogue well, but all the math is there, and I most certainly planned for the academics, so I’m satisfied with that piece. I could …

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We Can Never Turn Our Backs

Jose Vilson Jose 9 Comments

I hadn’t seen it live, but the pictures popped up on my social media screens. One set of photos has officers’ caps pointed directly at the procession. The other set of photos has the officers’ caps pointed in the opposite direction of a big screen with NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio in the background. For the police officers and the insulated mass of folks who agree with them, they must believe …

Paul McCartney by Irina March

Live and Let Die

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

On Saturday morning, I was flipping channels, trying to take my mind off last week when I saw the Shrek series come on. I’d already watched them, but, for some reason, I couldn’t stop watching the larger gingerbread man try to beat back a cauldron of warm milk while pulling down a castle drawbridge. By Shrek 3, we see the king, revealed as a frog in Shrek 2, on his …