Road Patch Construction

Under Construction

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

Road Patch Construction

Spring set in across the city in a major way today. The sunrays bounced off windows, sunflowers, and cobblestone alike. Ladies and gents hold their folded jackets over their arms all across 14th Street, and the air right in my line of vision looks wavier than usual.

That can mean only one thing: heavy construction.

Lots of it. Bright yellow cones spread like scatterplots across the road. Guys in hats that hover just above their ears pull rope and heave metal up and down bare, hallow skeletons of structures. Orange crossing lines border potholes in preparation for the imminent rise in traffic. Cars, like the one I drove – first time I’ve driven in ages by the way – bypass these sites hoping not to dented or, worse yet, run over by some heavy machinery three times its density.

We as human beings aren’t as fortunate.

Today, New York State math teachers have approximately 30 days until the NY State math test, and the test this year has made me a bit nervous since we’re covering way more breadth while the topics themselves have more depth than the previous grades. This break, however, has me thinking more about myself as a teacher in coming years. What lessons am I learning? In what areas do I need improvement? How can I cut the lingo and get to the meat of the matter, no matter what that matter is?

Strangely, I have neither the time nor the means by which to paste warning tape around our surroundings until I feel completely ready. My students are the subjects of constant social experimentation, and these breaks between school days tend to be the best time to improve and reflect upon my teaching. Here’s hoping that, as I approach this bleak and stressful time period, I should remember that, for now, I’m still far away from mastery and 58 school days from now, I’ll cover myself in yellow tape and cover the potholes in time for the next part of my journey.

Mr. Vilson, who feels weird coming into the rhythm mid-week …

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. Jonathan

    Social experimentation? Strong language. On target.

    You got to do your best to prepare them. Short term. While working against this massive and cruel overtesting. Long term.

    That’s what I would do. That’s what I figure you are already doing.

  2. Post

    Thanks for the comment, JD. You’re right about trying to work against the overtesting. In your class, I notice it’s not very test driven, but it’s certainly rigorous.

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