Let Me Re-Introduce Responsible Citizenship [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson

An excerpt from my latest at The Future of Teaching: I propose that, those of us who’ve seen what’s happened with character education instead use the term “responsible citizenship.” I recently Googled the term “responsible citizenship” and found a plethora of definitions, but they all coalesce around the idea that we must teach children to actively participate in their environments and contribute positively to them. Some might take this term …

We Can Do Better Than “Wrong” [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Excerpt: As a teacher, I have a few ways to say “that’s wrong” without actually saying it. The point isn’t to sanitize the class or soften the critique. For students, they often see the word “wrong” as a gateway to devaluing their own potential, as if their wrong answer determines their competency in the subject. We have to find ways for students to own and play on their mistakes without …

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Commit To Everything And All Things At Once (Or Rebel) [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson

An excerpt from my latest: It might be the best description of the first week of faculty meetings for schools nationwide. The Common Core State Standards (and multiple intelligences, the workshop model, and the host of other initiatives I’ve seen) have brought along their own set of pseudo-experts coming in to tell teachers what to teach, how to teach, and, inevitably why. The last one is particularly insulting because I’d …

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On Why IDGAF About Dress Code … Kinda [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: Having a dress code matters in far too many schools. I know of schools where, on dress down days, kids wear strictly primary colors depending on their affiliations, or look down on one another for inexpensive wardrobe. It also sets a tone, teaching students early that coming to school is like coming to work in a way where looks matters, so dress appropriately. At least these are some of …

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Why You Should Worry About Khan Academy, Not Just Math Geeks [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: The trend of gamifying our culture has had some benefits in other areas. Weight Watchers uses a points system to discourage customers from eating fatty foods. Nike+ has developed a specialized program (with shoes!) that help you compete against others through exercise. Klout uses equations to help rank people and brands through social media. Games often find themselves in the tools we as teachers use to encourage kids to …

How Many Houses Have You Built? [On The Future of Teaching Blog]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Excerpt: However, I can’t help but feel some sort of way about the risk / reward dynamic that’s played itself out when it comes to advocacy. As professionals, how long can teachers wait until our profession gets completely stripped away from us? How much will we tolerate policy committees and education panels without so much as a former teacher, much less a current one? How often do we value the …

We No Speak Americano [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: While we should always have a skeptical eye towards new research, here’s hoping this movement towards bilingual education doesn’t die the way the movement towards the metric system. (As a math teacher, I’m still annoyed at having to use inches instead of centimeters.) At this point in education, we’ve only had a passing fancy with other languages. Spanish, French, German, and Italian seem to dominate the foreign language category, …

FUBU for Teaching Standards [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Excerpt: I know there are a billion frameworks, most notably from Charlotte Danielson and Robert Marzano. I also don’t have faith in people who sell their products to districts who muck up any effort to improve the teaching profession with real research. Akin to what we do with students, Campbell’s Law comes into effect when we continually hammer in the idea that teachers should follow (narrow) checklists and rubrics to …

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I Prefer To Boogie On The Soul Train [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: As I’ve gotten older and seen how different movements work, I’ve noticed that, whether charitable or nefarious, the most effective movements have a small, malleable, and memorable set of core beliefs and tenets for their congregation. Obviously, the core team of Teaching 2030 represents that. The diversity in ed-thought reigned supreme over the diversity of experiences, but we all held a few core beliefs that make our partnership so …

Because iPads Can’t Read Themselves [Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: More importantly, if a portable reading device is more intuitive and more interactive, doesn’t that (at least minimally) connect the reader with the text? People still want to read, but no matter what the medium. Much of it is a matter of relevance and engagement. Conde Nast, for instance, made an excellent move recently by developing app versions of their magazines. Wired Magazine particularly functions MUCH better under the …