Jaime Escalante Folded Arms

Why This Teacher Of Color Is Staying

Jose Vilson Jose 11 Comments

In the last month, there were a plethora of highly publicized articles on why teachers quit, the most poignant came from the Atlantic’s Amanda Machado, whose title “Why Do Teachers Of Color Quit?” hit me square in the jaw: That life-long aspiration is the last issue that teachers from lower-income backgrounds struggle with. There is something disheartening about working so hard to honor your family’s sacrifices, only to find that …

Lion Roar

Monster (Teaching In The Era of Evaluations)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

The way I taught this year, you’d think I had a chip on my shoulder. I do, and now I own it. The last two months, I revamped my whole teaching style, not because Charlotte Danielson or any other education expert told me to do it, but because I’m in my ninth year, and damnit, if I can’t do get ‘er done now, what am I doing with my life? …

MeetingRoles-Timer

#HerePastJune, A Primer On Teachers’ Summers [Collaborateurs]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Here’s my latest at The Collaborateurs, where I discuss my reason for joining #HerePastJune, a United For Public Schools project: … we actually need to reconsider how we look at time in school. According to many reports (including some that US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan quotes), the United States already has the highest teacher-to-student time in minutes in the entire world. Where high-performing countries beat us (I won’t use …

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 …

BranchRickeynJackieRobinsonHofF

If You’re Teaching Black History Month This Way, Please Stop

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

First, I’d like to acknowledge that, on the chance that you’re actually celebrating Black History Month, congrats. You haven’t let the Common Core madness deter you from celebrating culture, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.  The decorations will spring up. Common faces like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Benjamin Banneker, and Will Smith will border the walls of a few classrooms, and probably a few hallways. There might …

5 Ways To Use 300 More Instructional Hours In A Year (THIS IS AMERICA!)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

This morning, I woke up to the news that a pilot program starting in a few states, including Connecticut and New York, would add 300 more instructional hours to the school year starting in 2013. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to see a real study showing a positive correlation between classroom time (teacher-student face-to-face for a designated class) and student achievement. If you’re not as informed …

Closing Schools In The Time Of A Hurricane [SchoolBook]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

An excerpt from my first post at the popular Schoolbook, a WNYC project: As educators, we are charged with helping our children feel that, as wild as the world may seem, we will pull through. Parents, children, and other invested adults seek asylum in our schools because of our routines, the familiarity, and the dulcet vibrations of the students’ yells, whispers and laughter. The teachers start their classes with their …

John Lennon with Sean

A Dozen of One, a Half Dozen of the Other [On Parenting and Teaching]

Jose Vilson Jose 7 Comments

Before my 25th birthday, I thought to myself how much I’d like to have my own son. The closer I got to finishing my 2nd year of teaching, the more I wanted to have a little nugget to teach the ways of this Vilson. My son started appearing in my dreams in different forms. My nephew Jaiden. My godson Josiah. My boss’ babies. My fiancee’s nephew Brandon. The first baby …

Smiling Breakfast

A Little Breakfast. A Little Water. A Little Air. A Little Time.

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

A huge struggle I’m having in my class is kids coming in late. OK, it’s actually been a problem since I’ve started teaching. It’s been exacerbated by the fact that we no longer have homeroom, so students don’t feel attached to the teacher who sees them in the morning and teachers don’t feel as attached to the students (even if they still care). Every morning, I see a similar pattern: …