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 …

If You Don’t Give Me Heaven, I Raise Hell

Jose 2 Comments

Did we cross the threshold of teacher complacency yet? Today, Pernille Ripp asked “How many of us blog about our philosophies and classroom changes but are too afraid to tell our face to face colleagues?” to her followers. I responded, “I used to. This year, I’ve decided against it.” Some, including Mary Beth Hertz, were surprised. She said, “… was …

The 2011 Mr. Vilson Manifesto [Dark Knight Feeling]

Jose 3 Comments

I’m not a hero. You can start off with the greatest intentions, develop great relationships, and create wonderful initiatives for your team. By our own meritocratic illusions, we believe that the more someone does these things in their spaces, they’re entitled to a certain amount of greatness. Yet, our reality establishes limits on that type of success, even for those …

My Philosophy, Part 2011

Jose 4 Comments

Recently, Chuck Klosterman wrote an exceptional article on contemporary writer legend Jonathan Franzen in GQ Magazine, where Klosterman devotes a significant amount of time to Franzen’s perceptions of himself and people’s perceptions of him. He prefaced the entire article with this fantastic description of Franzen: “Important is a problematic word, particularly when prefaced by the modifier most and especially when …

Pre-Birthday Celebration at Mom's House

Pardon The Swag

Jose 4 Comments

In celebration of my forthcoming birthday tomorrow (Monday, the 24th), I started sharing secrets to (my) life in my Facebook statuses. Here they were: Secret #1: I’m always thinking about the footprint I’d like to leave in the world, a natural part of working with kids. Secret #2: Once I became a teacher, I became more confident externally because I …


Life as a Marathon, Not a Short Sprint

Jose 1 Comment

Today, my friends Melissa and Paul Melkonian finished 26.2 miles worth of New York City terrain. They’re probably some of the most adventurous and confident people I’ve ever known. Anyone willing to start from Staten Island, across Sunset Park in Brooklyn, around Hunters Point in Queens, through Roosevelt Island, up and down the hilly Upper East Side and Harlem, into …

The Dark Knight Mourns

Rest Elbows on Table, Insert Chin Into Hands (Pick Your Head Up Afterwards)

Jose 2 Comments

This is the reason I don’t like reading the papers in NYC. They’re either filled with information I’ve already read, information that’s misinformation, or information I just shake my head at. This time around, it was the third. And I didn’t even have my usual sources of news to inform me immediately of Sunday’s NY Daily News, when they decided …

(A Part of) My Kids at Yankee Stadium

With Your Hearts Wide Open

Jose 5 Comments

Last night, and over the last few weekends, I’d been working on a piece (of poetry) for my students, one that I hope they’d remember, that would capture the memories we had for so long. I couldn’t come up with anything appropriate until last night. I couldn’t have it be too sad or too corny, because I do neither of …