A Case for the Dinosaurs

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

One day, a group of educators, including myself, was having a conversation about veterans of the NYC public school system when one of my colleagues said something to the effect of, “You see what happened to the dinosaurs right? They didn’t adapt, so of course, they became extinct.” We all blurted out a laugh, especially with the mischievous smile he posted right after that comment. Then I thought to myself, …

Tim Duncan's Face

A Letter To A New NYC Teaching Fellow

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

My first pearl of wisdom to you: be a student first, teacher second. You’ve just gotten in, or you’ve been finishing up your summer training for the Fellows, and you’re wondering where to start. You probably Googled for NYCTF and ran into my site (hopefully) or any assortment of ed bloggers that either give constructive criticism of the program or completely bash it as a waste of time (the latter …

The Vilson Manifesto

Jose Vilson 11 Comments

The one question every person in this profession faces is the ubiquitous “Why do you teach?” (The most recent comes from Sherman Dorn). It comes from kids, parents, friends, and family. I don’t know whether it’s out of pride or pity. Everyone can list their favorite teachers and most hated teachers, and those people usually had a greater influence on their lives than the teachers even recognize. After all, I …

Welcome to the Jungle

Jose Vilson 7 Comments

Less than a month ago, The Village Voice published an article about the NYC Teaching Fellows entitled “Your Own Personal Blackboard Jungle” by Stacy Cowley and Neil deMause. Basically, it discusses the hardships that so many fellows go through in the NYC Public School system, and lay much of the fault on the rather accelerated training of the NYCTF. It’s caused quite the stir in the blogosphere, and in particular …

Crazy Eights

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Borrowed from J. Dakar: The Rules: 1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave …

The Full Circle

Jose Vilson 5 Comments

I love existential titles; don’t you? Well two days ago, I completed my greatest public speaking gig I’ve ever had. I spoke for the NYC Teaching Fellows in front of 2000 or so people, most of which were new teachers in the program. I was anxious about 10 minutes before I had to make the speech, but next thing I know, I’m in the middle of speaking to all these …