Nelson_Mandela_played_by_Idris_Elba

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and How We Plant Seeds

Confession: I didn’t get a chance to see Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom before taking my students. Confession #2: My kids wouldn’t have gone to see it either if I didn’t bring them myself. Here’s the thing about auto-bio pics that people don’t want to say, but will readily admit: if our youth don’t get a sense of why something …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonMandela: Long Walk To Freedom and How We Plant Seeds
Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure

Learning To Fly (Reminding Ourselves That Students Are People)

Confession: I had the best time yesterday hanging with my students at Six Flags Great Adventure for their senior trip. From discovering that Adventure Time is my new favorite show (and I ain’t even know it) to testing out my intestinal fortitude (just fine for now, thank you very much), I got to see a side of my students I …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonLearning To Fly (Reminding Ourselves That Students Are People)

Short Notes: Pearson Makes Money, Whether You Like It Or Not

A few notes: William J. Reese lets the world know that none of this testing business is new. Good read. [New York Times] Pearson apologized for errors on the gifted and talented test. They get a stern warning, and get to sit in the corner for millions of dollars. (Commentary mine.) [GothamSchools] I was asked to write why Michelle Rhee …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonShort Notes: Pearson Makes Money, Whether You Like It Or Not
Empty Chair

A Suspension of Time and School

You weren’t supposed to come back. Even though you were on our school’s roster, rumor had it that your guardian put you in a different school, and you’d no longer half-bounce into my class, calling one of your friends a “nigga-what-the-fuck” for something they allegedly did to you. Before you came back, you only knew me as the second math …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonA Suspension of Time and School

Don’t Let Me Down [On Opening Up When Things Go Down]

You’re not supposed to know when your student is this close to suicide. You get up in front of the classroom, get students started on their work, and get into the routine. Whether the routine comes from you or them matters little. The room buzzes for a while as they sit, but when the notebooks come out, the notebook pages …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonDon’t Let Me Down [On Opening Up When Things Go Down]
may-calendar

A Whole Month Left (A Freewrite)

“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 …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonA Whole Month Left (A Freewrite)
bobbyseale

Privilege and My First and Only Meeting with Bobby Seale

Not a year goes by without me hearing “These kids have no idea what a privilege it is to …” Usually because I’ve been the one saying it until the last year or so. The problem with having a privilege when you’re so unaccustomed to it is that you outwardly act like it doesn’t matter because you’re inwardly incapable of …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonPrivilege and My First and Only Meeting with Bobby Seale
kidyell

The Kids Will Tell You

On Saturday, I had the honor of listening to eight teens from a high school in Harlem for about 1/2 an hour (it was the third of four stops that Saturday), hosted by Columbia University professor and Twitter associate Christopher Emdin. While I didn’t get a chance to sit for the whole conversation, I noticed the passion and candor from …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonThe Kids Will Tell You

Learn When To Treat Them As Students And Then As People

A few weeks ago, I learned something about the year I’ve had so far, and it unnerved me in a way I didn’t expect. As most of you know, I celebrated another glorious birthday on this Earth on January 24th. I spent time in the company of family and friends through the weekend. IHOP, rum and coke mixes, and heavy …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonLearn When To Treat Them As Students And Then As People
The Manhattan Guardian

Yes, I Do Want You To Explain It To Them

Having students for three years straight would make anyone feel like a parent to their group of students. It’s the way I feel with my students who graduated last year, as well as the other group that I had for two consecutive years. After a while, they start taking on bits of you that you wouldn’t realize: the wise cracks, …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonYes, I Do Want You To Explain It To Them