Some Nights (What We Stand For)

Jose 6 Comments

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck Some nights, I call it a draw Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off But I still wake up, I still see your ghost Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh What do I …

Jose VilsonSome Nights (What We Stand For)

Thankful (After Thanksgiving)

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I try to be thankful everyday. I’m always reminded that I have ancestors who didn’t and don’t have the same fortune I have, and how blessed I am to partake in meals with all of my family. It’s hard to celebrate a day you know was dedicated to what pilgrims perceived as manifest destiny but that the victims and survivors …

Jose VilsonThankful (After Thanksgiving)

What A 55 Looks Like On This Side [Fail Is A Strong Word]

Mr. Vilson 6 Comments

Sifting through the multitude of ungraded papers, I looked for some sign that they actually learned something. I hate entering in 55s in my Excel sheet. A teacher can say whatever they want to the kids, and threaten them about not doing well, but most of us prefer that all of our kids do well from the early going. Even …

Jose VilsonWhat A 55 Looks Like On This Side [Fail Is A Strong Word]

10³ (My 1,000th Post and Running)

Jose 2 Comments

Last night starts off with you telling the world that you have no idea what you’re going to write for your 1,000th post. Do you bunt it and just write “This is my 1000th post?” Do you try to hit a homerun with a colossal montage of highlights and achievements since the first time you ever attempted hitting “Publish” on …

Jose Vilson10³ (My 1,000th Post and Running)

Teaching Another 180

Mr. Vilson 5 Comments

Last night: Honestly, I’m nervous again. I know the routines, too. Sleep tight. Groom well. Come in with a tie. Introduce myself and the class I’m teaching. Announce names. Give out contact cards. Discuss the syllabus. Hope you don’t have a lot of time left over at the end. Leave without too much fanfare. Yet, I can never shake the …

Jose VilsonTeaching Another 180

A Whole Month Left (A Freewrite)

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“You’re going to miss us!” “Yes, I’m going to miss bothering the heck out of you!” I mean, why do students think we’re actually going to spend our off time thinking about them? Except when we do. Like now. There’s only a month left before we usher them on to their next stations in life (most of them anyways). They’re …

Jose VilsonA Whole Month Left (A Freewrite)
Detroit Classroom

On Getting Better At Your Craft

Mr. Vilson 4 Comments

This year, I decided I was going to focus more intently on developing lesson plans day-to-day. To be honest, I lost a bit of that, thinking that developing plans by units would be substantive enough to get through to my students and through my curriculum. I was approaching “getting better” by concentrating on getting better at developing units (something I …

Jose VilsonOn Getting Better At Your Craft

Above and Beyond

Jose 1 Comment

Often, people make me question what the words “above and beyond” mean in an age when we’re obsessed with overworking and overstating. When Carmen told me that she will not go above and beyond in her activism, I started to think about what that meant based on what I knew about her. When someone approaches her about her hair, her …

Jose VilsonAbove and Beyond

I Got Nuttin’ But Love For Ya

Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

I wear a mask when I go to work. It’s the Mr. Vilson mask, and it provides me the distance from people that my age (and respect) otherwise wouldn’t give me. I wear it when I get off the A train on the Dyckman – 200 St. stop. I wear it as I race up the stairs out of the …

Jose VilsonI Got Nuttin’ But Love For Ya

The Honeymooners

Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Everyone calls this period the “honeymoon” on purpose. We lay the ground rules for the first few periods we encounter each other, get to know each other a bit, and make connections based on things we might have already observed. From there, we play nice, engaging in a light display of tug-and-pull, a diluted version of tug-of-war, sure to appear …

Jose VilsonThe Honeymooners