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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 …

Box_of_Mannequins_by_tallphotographist

Teacher Barely Notices Mannequins In A Classroom Prank

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

In today’s news, a prank goes horribly wrong when a group of students replaced themselves with mannequins only to notice the teacher kept teaching. “It was supposed to be a childish prank, but, when we looked through the classroom door, she just kept teaching like we were there,” said Juan Gomez, a student in her class. The school, under the city’s official department website, is classified as 90% free or …

aiyana-stanley-jones

Educators Say The Darndest Things About Kids of Color

Jose Vilson Jose 15 Comments

“He deserves to have been shot.” When I logged into Facebook for the umpteenth time last week, I should have expected to read this. At any given moment, I’m reminded that we shouldn’t ever be desensitized to injustice and inhumanity, yet, I’ve grown so used to it that I deflect it, block it, or respond to it swiftly and concisely in the hopes that I don’t drain my energies that …

Men Explain Things To Women Too Often, In Education and Otherwise

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Audrey Watters: “There’s that very famous New Yorker cartoon: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The cartoon was first published in 1993 — fairly interesting, I think, because it shows that by the early 1990s, the Internet had achieved if not a popular appeal, then enough of one that those who read the New Yorker could chuckle about the reference. The cartoon demonstrates too this sense that we …

Some of the teachers from the NPR comments, getting out of school

If This Keeps Happening, The Teaching Profession Is Doomed

Jose Vilson Jose 15 Comments

Last week, NPR Ed interviewed me and four other teachers for its 50 Great Teachers Series in an article entitled: “5 Great Teachers On What Makes A Great Teacher.” I was gassed because they actually took the time to draw a cool sketch of me for the piece, and the drawing looks like me. Just as important was the fact that we actually took a reflective look at the teaching …

mrskrabappelbart

Bad Teachers Everywhere, All The Time, Even You

Jose Vilson Jose 11 Comments

In my last post, there was a big conversation in other areas about this idea of “bad teachers” and whether I should have paid more attention to discussing “bad teachers.” Cameron Diaz notwithstanding, the term “bad teacher” is a super-sensitive topic, one I don’t wish to treat with kid gloves, but a fine-toothed comb, because it merits serious discussion, especially through a racial and class lens. But let’s this out …

timecoverbadteachers

Bad Teachers [Running Out Of Time]

Jose Vilson Jose 23 Comments

A few questions to ask yourself before you talk to me about bad teachers. What is a bad teacher? Out of the dozens of teachers you’ve had, how many of them would you actually call “bad”? Are you successful because or despite those teachers? Did your school environment exacerbate or blunt the effect of the bad teacher? Would you have “made it” if the bad teacher was a good teacher? …

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 …

James Baldwin

Writing Yourself Right Out Of The Burning House

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

“Dear Self (& other writers)–If you’re not writing with the urgency of exile, what’s the point? Which is to say, your writing should convey so much immediacy, fire and risk that you chance being kicked out of something with each line. Your writing should make you fucking quake.” – Airea D. Matthews Kelly Wickham shared this quote with her friends recently and also commented that she thought about my recent …