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 …

tightrope walking

A Memo on Teacher Voice

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Why do people always feel the need to limit the potential of teacher voice? Last year, I expounded on redefining teacher voice, and what that means for true education reform: Teacher voice is the collective and individual expression of meaningful, professional opinion based on classroom experience and expertise. What developed shortly thereafter were a plethora of discussions of what that looks like, and how we employ that in different settings. …

A. Phillip Randolph and Who Really Controls Teacher Voice

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

This week, I had the distinct please of listening to Norman Hill speak as part of a panel of activists and organizers that worked on and around the Civil Rights Movement, specifically with Bayard Rustin. In one of my favorite moments, Hill quoted A. Phillip Randolph: “At the banquet table of nature, there are no reserved seats. You get what you can take, and you keep what you can hold. …

A Quick Note on Student Voice [Because You Need To Hear It … Again]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

A couple of days back, I saw an incident with one of my student ambassadors and a teacher. Nothing to write the Post about, but tempers flared, and misunderstandings ensued. Yelling and consternation spill over to the hallway. Frankly, a huge misunderstanding only inflated by the fact that other adults who felt like pushing the buttons deeper instead of pulling them back. The only phrase that kept ringing in my …

Heart Matters When You Speak

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Excerpt from my latest at The Future of Teaching: Instead, what the audience got that night was me speaking from the heart. Sure, I prepared, but I hoped to convey the passion and love I have for teaching as I do in conversations with you, or in my own writing. Sometimes, while striving for perfection, we forget the delicate balance between divinity and humanity. What makes any “talk” we give …


The New York Times and Why Adding More Educators To Your Panel Matters

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

Last year around this time, I criticized the New York Times for not having many K-12 educators on their panel. Excuse me, for having maybe three current teachers and another handful of former teachers out of a possible 70 panelists. I laughed at the prospect of a public education system without any educators, and my own suspicions about the composition of last year’s panel made me laugh harder. It felt …


I Went Through Hell, So I’m Expecting Heaven [On Speaking Up Again]

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Colleague Carrie Kamm commented on my last post with this: “Something prompted this blog post from you. I am sure these thoughts and ideas have dwelled within you, but I’d love to know what you observed, heard, or felt that made you need to write this post this week. For me, reading Lisa Delpit’s latest book has brought many of these same sentiments to the surface for me in a …

New York Times Headquarters

New York Times: Future Schools Don’t Have Many Teachers In Them

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

Setting the clock back to June 20th, 2011 … *** takes a break from ranting about the New York State Math Test, opens e-mail *** thinks to self: Hmm, this is interesting. A panel about schools of tomorrow by the New York Times. OK, I’m curious. Maybe I’ll get to go. Wait, on a school day? Who’s going to get to go? e-mails this to a set of interest folk. …

My State of the Teacher Voice Address 2011 [The Huffington Post]

Jose Vilson Guest Posts, Jose 2 Comments

Excerpt: We as a whole need to transform our vision of the professionals who spend on average $400 of their monies to the 30, 60, 90, 150 students in front of them for the majority of the year. We should listen to this group not just when they need to give your child a report card, but also when they speak on the dire conditions of our poorest and most …