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, …

Former NE Patriot Joe Andruzzi Helps Another Runner At The Boston Marathon

Freestyle Week: How Politeness Kills Even The Pretense of Justice

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

This week, I’m writing blog posts based on people’s submissions to my Facebook page right here. My first one is based on online friend Michael Doyle’s suggested title, “How politeness kills even the pretense of justice.” Let’s go … The Boston Marathon shouldn’t have ended that way. A moment of celebration turned into a maelstrom of yells, lost appendages, and death. The American public, at once reminded that they too …

Another Countdown To The Statewide Math Test [OMGWTFGAAAHHH]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 6 Comments

Tomorrow, thousands of New York City teachers return to work from a well-deserved extended break. For me, it just felt good putting my feet up, reading novels, sipping iced coffee, and spending time with my family without having to tell them, “Alright, time’s up, I got things to do now, move along now, thank you.” Going back to work is bittersweet at best, headache-inducing at worst. Teaching tomorrow is the …

valentineschoolrose

My Love For School [And My Rancor For The System It’s In]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

I started off the morning with a heavy dose of Stevie Wonder and Aventura, a random sampling of love songs I have on my iPod just to pass the time on the train. The building is super-silent at the time I get in there, perfect for getting my mind and papers ready for the 8am start. About 55 minutes later, the din grows into a chatter, then a squeal and …