Yankee Stadium Gang

The Proverbial Godfather to My Students

Jose 4 Comments

Yankee Stadium Gang

Yankee Stadium Gang

This morning, I had a strange choice to make. Ever since the Yankees made the playoffs, I made a quasi-promise to myself that, should the New York Yankees win the championship, I’d take my students to the parade. While not educationally sound, I’ve been building that bridge from Inwood to South Bronx for my students since their 6th grade year. For their big class trip in 6th grade, I took them to the old Yankee Stadium a few months removed from when the owners closers its doors. For their 7th grade year, I took them to the new Yankee Stadium as well. Thus, it would have been fitting for me to bring them to their first Yankee parade.

My real reason for bringing them to the stadiums has less to do with my fervor for the Yankees; Citi Field would have done fine (Shea? Not so much.) It’s knowing that I continue to give them an experience that they may not otherwise get as children, exposing them to things within their area that otherwise people deny them. For instance, as my then 6th grade students and I rode the D train to 161st and River Ave., my students admitted to me that they’d never been to Yankee Stadium. They may never have known what the big deal was about unless I personally took them, at a cost that was well within their price range (free).

What’s more, I knew they’d at least get the feeling that, for at least a moment, the whole world was theirs. So this morning, almost completely out of my mind since I’d slept about 4 hours, I had to make a critical decision: do the kids go or do they not? Then I realized at a ticker tape parade of this magnitude, they’d feel more cramped and antsy than open and free. Plus, the risks associated with thousands of eccentric New Yorkers cheering on 25 baseball guys make me a little nervous.

Best believe that, before the year is done, I’ll have something that’ll complete their career at my middle school. Even if they don’t remember me, they’ll at least remember the time when, for a second, they walked in the steps of world championships …

Mr. V, who loves the vibe of NYC right about now …

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 Proverbial Godfather to My Students

Comments 4

  1. Mariela Rosa

    This is so unfair Mr. V! The only place our class went to back in 2006 was to Playland. I hope you had fun with your munchkins (NOT!) -_-

  2. pissedoffteacher

    I’m glad you are opening their world. I used to teach in Manhattan and found that kids from Harlem, part of Manhattan had never been to Broadway or midtown or lower. We, as teachers, need to teach them there is a world outside the small one they livein.

  3. Post
    Author
    Jose

    Mariela, I never got to go. With that said, a lot of your teachers started hating on you for going to Playland, especially fellow 8th graders who never got to go. Everything in perspective :-).

    pissedoffteacher, that’s as true as day and night. We could do that more, frankly.

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