Nas

The World Is Yours (We Don’t Kiss Rings Over Here)

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Truth: I believe you’re better than the ring-kissing I’m seeing right now. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to speak virtually to about the importance of leading while teaching as part of a series I’m doing with the Center for Teaching Quality. In my argyle sweater and windbreaker pants (video conferencing) magic, I fielded questions about everything from educational equity (“Give back 1% from that defense budget. Radical, …

The Lonely Island featuring T-Pain, "I'm On A Boat"

Outside Of A Comfort Zone (On The Aspen Ideas Festival)

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

A young lady, no older than 25, peered out of her glasses at a mostly white crowd. Her rose-patterned blouse, peach-pale skin, and slender figure gave us no indication of what she might do or say. Then, she blurts out the following: “Aww shit!” Um, what? “Get your towels ready, it’s about to go down! Everybody in the place hit the fuckin’ deck! But stay on your motherfuckin toes!” The …

George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali

Rope-A-Dope Like Muhammad Ali [Collaborateurs]

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

One of my year-end reflection is now live at The Collaborateurs: This year, I needed this when I went for a whirlwind of a trip this year, shifting roles and attitudes in ways that had me floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. Perhaps even a little rope-a-dope as I sustained a few blows. As successful as I’ve been outside of school, the frustrations inside school built up. …

Isaiah Mustafa in Old Spice Commercial

A Thought On Graduations As A Whole

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

A list of the common complaints about graduations from K-12: Not everyone deserves to graduate. A more detailed subset of that list: At this rate, should we have to make special accommodations for our kids when we’re trying to raise the rigor of all curricula? Better yet, can everyone just get an intervention plan so we can stop lying to ourselves that every student who graduates gets the same criteria? …

Serious cat.

Why So Serious? [On Demeanors In The Classroom]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

“Why are you so serious all the time, Mr. Vilson?” The students just finished giving me my student evaluations, something I thought I’d try this year, but probably waited too long in the year to do. “Well, it depends …” And before I could finish, my co-teacher put me on blast by saying that it depends on the situation. The yearbook has a picture of me smiling for the first …

lionroarbw

Having A Voice Isn’t Free, Either (Inspiring Teacher Voice)

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Today, it was brought to my attention just how costly teacher voice can be. The top-down management style of most schools lends itself to an undemocratic collective of adults and children in the building, all exacerbated by internal and external factors like poverty, personalities, and Charlotte Danielson. Autonomy is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is often fresh out of college and / or hasn’t been in …

Moments Like This [Soul Of A Man]

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

A blackened tooth from a decade-old basketball injury. An average of four hours of sleep a night. A tumultuous set of faculty meetings, in meetings, out meetings, and every other type of meeting in between. An early bus I missed, followed by a late train that took 15 minutes off my preparation time. A snide remark by colleagues. A set of bills ankle-deep tightening the noose ’round my neck. A …

Iron Man 3

Please, Keep Writing and Teaching [Kick More Ass]

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you’re a blogger writing about education and a whole mess of other stuff that permeates the experiences you have as an educator looking inward and outward, trying to seek solutions to complex and amorphous situations. Let’s say you decided to look at the landscape of writing about education through this lens. You see messages and e-mails asking you why you put your name out there, no …

The Alchemist

Born To Do This Shit [On Personal Legends and Teaching]

Jose Vilson Jose, Mr. Vilson 6 Comments

“You have 135 minutes left on this test. Are there any questions?” After a quick pause, I said, “You may begin.” As the students got to work on this section of the test, I began to reflect on my life as a teacher, and came to realize that, yes, I was born to be in a classroom, teaching. The set of students in front of me, a gathering of opted-out …

dark-classroom

Resolve

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

This morning, after a few sips of my coffee and getting ready for class, a cold sweat developed in the palms of my hand. I rubbed my hands a few times before I put the marker to the whiteboard, hoping the few examples of problems I do today serve less as a lesson and more as a fine tuning. Pacing the room 30 minutes before class made my feet ache, …