The Necessary Summer

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

“How was your summer?”


“That’s a typical Vilson answer,” someone exclaims from the side as others chuckle. I just smirked, letting everyone get their laughs in before I finished my statement.

“It was probably one of the best summers I’ve ever had. I feel energized, and I’m ready for the school year.”

People usually mistake my responses as sarcasm and evasion. Check that. People usually understand my responses as sarcasm and evasion. Some of it’s intentional because it creates the desired effect: laughter.

But this time, I wasn’t kidding. It was probably one of the best summers I’d ever had. Plenty of flyer miles, plenty of tanned skin, plenty of successes and future plans. Furthermore, people actually remembered and used my first name, an important part of any teacher’s vacation. My allergies are still in high gear, but my mind has never been clearer; I made decisions I should have made long ago. I acquired new friends, new opportunities, and a well of fuel for the coming school year.

And I’m going to need it.

After looking at my program and kids, I saw the need for this summer. Teachers in my position never know what they’re walking into; a summer’s worth of changes in NYC Department of Education has major ramifications for what a teacher thought they left behind in June. Even with the time I worked this summer, it felt like I got things out of the way rather than added onto my pile. That’s the way it should be.

I’m really energized to get back in there and kick some butt. But before I do, I need to thank Summer 2010 for being so good. And being so necessary.


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.

Comments 2

  1. msladydeborah

    It sounds like your time at the crossroads of life was/is productive. i think that people do not realize how demanding this particular profession really is.

    I just found a new teaching position. My summer was really sad because of my dad passing. It was difficult for me to come to grips with this particular event until recently. I know that he would want me to be back in the trenches for the year. I’m just now getting mentally fired up about work for this year.

    I’m looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you this year.

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