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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

My actual classroom from eight years ago. Same room this year, too.

Meeting My Once and Future Classroom

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Meet my once and future classroom. It once had a exposed wooden door, working lights, nine unmarked boxes, beige lockers, and a second year teacher scared for his career. I know this because I was him eight years ago. Throughout the year, the desks rumbled and shuffled about the class, sometimes in groups, in pairs, or in single row and file while students and their teacher prepared for tests of …

summertime

Here It Is, A Profession Transformed

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

I just got back from three packed-house events in Chicago, Chapel Hill, and Philadelphia in July. In each space, the energy in the room took me aback because I’m still not used to the idea that a bunch of folks with busy lives want to hear my mouth run for two hours. Yet, by thinking that I don’t belong on that stage or on that mic, I perpetuate the power …

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Reframing Expertise in Education (The Habitual Line-Stepper)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 9 Comments

In my travels this summer, I’m often asked to ponder this idea of expertise, and specifically, how education researchers and those in higher education can help K-12 teachers. Since I entered the teaching profession almost a decade ago, I’ve had this struggle with this idea. From articles where a writer with a PhD in education lays out a plan for how school systems should be run to speeches where a …

Father’s Day As A Healing Day

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

It’s weird. With the World Cup in Brazil going and Father’s Day happening all around me (and for me), I’m reminded how, once or twice a year, I’d spend hours watching my father watch soccer in my grandmother’s (his mother’s) house in Brooklyn. I didn’t get why it was so exciting, especially since the Italian league games often ended in nil ties and shootouts back then, but he’d try to …

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What Complicity Looks Like (Why I Support #YesAllWomen)

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that my boys and I wanted to have fun at an Irish pub, jamming to every rhyme and curse Shawn Carter could muster for three verses. It’s already 11pm and we got a few drinks flowing in our system, flirting with a few women of different skin tones, cracking jokes with the a bunch of random guys from the local university. The service was a …

How The Book Is Going So Far

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

People often ask me how I do everything I do, especially surrounding my book. I can’t reveal it all, but even my typical Saturdays aren’t that typical. Yesterday, I took a three-hour National Board exam, unprepared due to circumstances beyond my control. Then again, everyone told me this test should be no sweat because it’s everything that I’ve been doing since I first started teaching. Except that it wasn’t. I …