Building A Better Teacher by Elizabeth Green

Pedagogy First (A Note on Elizabeth Green’s Building A Better Teacher)

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Every so often, I love reading other folks talk about standards without any current teachers present in their conversation. Even a cursory read of education history in this country shows how intellectual [white] men throw their moral and scholarly swag about what teachers should and shouldn’t be focused on. On the other hand, the teachers I eavesdrop on try to out-intellectual the folks imposing their “thought leadership” onto those of …

My Philosophy On Math Pedagogy, And Other Tidbits [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Here’s an excerpt from my latest at Edutopia (including a diss on Robert Marzano and the like). It’s about engaging math teachers: Keep This Rule of Thumb: Complete, Consistent, Correct By “complete, consistent, correct,” I mean we should allow multiple pathways to a correct answer that a) allow for full understanding of a given procedure, b) can be used time and again without fail, and c) actually have a sound …


If You’re Teaching Black History Month This Way, Please Stop

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

First, I’d like to acknowledge that, on the chance that you’re actually celebrating Black History Month, congrats. You haven’t let the Common Core madness deter you from celebrating culture, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.  The decorations will spring up. Common faces like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Benjamin Banneker, and Will Smith will border the walls of a few classrooms, and probably a few hallways. There might …

Oh come on now! Really, Kentucky? REALLY?!

If Every Other Word Out Of Your Mouth Is “Common Core”, You’re The Problem

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

Do me a favor and stop it. Just stop it, you. Yes, you. You’re ridiculous now. Every other word out of your mouth is “Common Core.” That’s enough out of you. I’m all for people having a voice, a seat at the table, and entitlements to opinions and such, but you’re not going to sit there and use the words “Common Core” 58 times in a meeting and not have …

Five Ways You Can #OccupyTheClassroom [It’s About Time]

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

For World’ Teachers’ Day, all the big edu-wigs broke out in song about saluting great teachers, trying to stretch their arms out their offices far enough to find a teacher they’d consider effective and Kumbaya them to death.  The billows of hollow praise doesn’t whittle away the troubling issues with education.On that day, teachers all across this nation were given the day off, the week off, and the entire year …

What’s Next: Auto-tuning Our Lessons, Too? [On The Future of Teaching]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Mr. Vilson

Excerpt: For some of our less fortunate colleagues, they may get mandated to use a scripted curriculum pre-written for them. This method has some validity with those who don’t get the training in their ed-schools (and trust me, there’s lots), but should teachers prescribe to this method? At some point, we have to ask ourselves, are lesson plans reflective of a student’s needs and passions or are they just a …

Julius Caesar Statue in Rome, Italy

Well, If You Don’t Teach It, How Will They Know? [Beware the Ides of March]

Jose Vilson Jose 9 Comments

What does it mean when a teacher says, “They don’t know ..?” That’s often my quandary when I listen to the conversations about our students in classrooms all across the city (and in some cases, the nation). Topics like fractions, percentages, decimal places, and other seemingly rudimentary topics evade many of our students, and many teachers prefer to concentrate on these deficiencies with a flippant “They don’t know.” At some …

No Doubt

Don’t Speak, I Know Just What You’re Thinking. [Or Students Are Students]

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

“Well, not for nothing, but the student you’re looking at now has an IEP. She’s come a long way from where she was …” In my mind, I was thinking, “The next word out of your mouth when talking about my students better not classify them as ‘ELL’ or ‘IEP’.”As Ira Socol said in a lively discussion (that I’m not sure he thought I was paying attention to), these terms …

Tin Foil Rex

Tearing the House Down pt. 1: No (Limiting) Math Gimmicks!

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

I could have easily declared the following as a math teacher, but I’m being more demonstrative now: No. More. FOIL. Anyone who’s followed these posting in the last couple of years knows that I’m all for finding efficient ways of remembering how one works through different elements of math. I’m also for remembering processes so long as, later on, there’s a stronger element of true understanding there. Yet, what inevitably …