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Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

I’ve changed my mind. We need to lift folks doing the work. A few years ago, my former principal, a colleague and I attended a special conference at New York University at the behest of one of NYC Department of Education’s deputy directors, who was slated to be on this crucial panel on high schools. NYU’s School of Education would present its findings on high school graduation rates, finding that the Bloomberg …

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For What It’s Worth (On Blogging As A Teacher for Eight Years)

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

I hadn’t realized this until now, but I’ve now been blogging on this platform for eight years. I don’t feel all that different, but I’m almost certain I am. Looking through some of my older posts, I feel like a whole different writer, probably because I got my butt handed to me on numerous occasions by different editors along the way. As a classroom teacher, I don’t have the luxury …

A System of Ninety Equations

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I barely know what week I’m in right now. We just finished the second marking period and we’re just starting to get into systems of equations. I went through a few moments of “I can’t believe this is what they turned in” to “Yes, exactly, this this this!” and everything in between. I’ve known loneliness intimately in school, embraced it, and hoped it meant my voice meant more and not …

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 …

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Week 13: Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See

Jose Vilson Jose, Mr. Vilson 8 Comments

This morning, I woke up in a haze. After attending the Teachers for Social Justice curriculum fair in Chicago this weekend, I felt empowered to move students in a direction that continues to empower them. On Monday, my mind felt less optimistic about my day at school, in dealing with both students and adults. After school, and for the last 100 days, I knew that there would be no indictment, …

Be Kind ... - Plato

Week 8: Bleeding Openly [Am I A Bad Teacher?]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 10 Comments

“I can’t. I just can’t.” After class on Thursday, I started to strongly reconsider why I wanted to do this project I’m having my students do. The premise is for them to understand operations with scientific notation by modeling the solar system. This went off mostly without a hitch last year and I got some of the most brilliant pieces I’d ever seen from students that the school usually expects …

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 …

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Race, Class, and Acceptability As A Connected Educator [Aspiring To Karen]

Jose Vilson Jose 11 Comments

Karen Lewis matters to me for a myriad of reasons, both personal and activist. She isn’t just the leader of the Chicago Teachers’ Union and the CORE caucus that took the education world by storm with fiery oratory and community-centered energy. She symbolizes a new vision for progressive education reform, one that speaks proactively about the education deforms with the nuance that only a Black woman such as herself can. …

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Week 4: All The Students [World Teachers Day]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

On Friday, EduShyster visited my classroom, the last leg of her NYC tour. Anyone reads this blog knows I have a profound respect for her writing and her approach to talking about education, so much so that, when she asked if she could visit my classroom, I enthusiastically said “Yes!” Or something. Anyone who knows me gets that I believe in open classroom door policies (except during change of period), …