hands-up-dont-shoot

Week 13: Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See

Jose Vilson Jose, Mr. Vilson 6 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 …

burnttoast

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

Jose Vilson Jose 8 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. …

paperstack

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), …

jetercloseup

Derek Jeter

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

My first real introduction to baseball was my cousin Richie’s autographed Don Mattingly placard. He put it on his shelf after meeting him thanks to the Miliken Boys’ Club in 1991. I didn’t understand the sport, and didn’t care for it since I already had Patrick Ewing and the Madison Square Bullies playing at their peak. My interest in baseball grew because I too became a member of the Boys …

ofmiceandmenbookcover2

Week 2: The Best Laid Lesson Plans

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Last week, I found myself as restless as the first day of school. In fact, I got to school at 7:10am every day, when school usually starts at 8am. I racked my brain around what the next logical step is in my curriculum. Negative exponents are especially difficult if students don’t get a lot of practice with the concept, and if they can’t make a seamless connection between negative and …

meclassroomdream

Week 1: I Belong Here (On Starting Exponents)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 7 Comments

I’ve started my unit on exponents the same exact way for the last five years. I’d give my students the definition of exponent and base, and give them examples of how each of them work. From there, we’d see what happens as I made tables to show growth patterns. What happens as the exponent increases? What happens as the exponent decreases? What if the exponent is zero? Negative? What’s the …

Classroom Window

Changing The Narrative, Right From My Classroom

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Tomorrow, New York City teachers go for their first day back from vacation. With no kids and two weeks to clean out their caches (well, some of us), we’ll hopefully come back refreshed and ready to take on the relentless energies of the burgeoning young minds in front of us. Or whatever it is we choose to believe. This year, I’ve never been as excited to hop in and do …