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In the Middle of Teaching and Leading

José Luis Vilson

April 13, 2014

Why Don't Those Teachers Own Their Profession Already?


Hypothetically speaking, let's say a subset of all teachers decided to go against their district's wishes, teaching their curriculum according to a mix of research and expertise, but masking it under the name of the latest district buzzword. Would you blame them for not outright fighting against their administration's wishes or congratulate them for "owning" their profession?

Of course, that's a trick question because it largely depends on your lens.

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José Luis Vilson

February 19, 2014

Teacherpreneurism For You

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Something to consider: over the last few years, a select group of folks have taken on the idea of "teacherpreneurship." Quietly but surely, they're discussing education for our kids in places where we aren't always welcome. They're re-shaping the environments around them and making their impressions felt in their school districts. Teacherpreneurism was never the "evil idea" a few critics made it out to be, but an idea set in making sure teachers had control of their profession. Having said that, here's the application. Please. Have at it.

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José Luis Vilson

January 30, 2014

Who Watches The Watchtower? (On Teacher Leadership in NYC)

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Last week, I had the honor of speaking to superintendents and network leaders of NYC schools as part of an NYC Department of Education expert series. They asked Barnett Berry and Ann Byrd to lead a workshop on teacher leadership around the themes of the book Teacherpreneurs. As one of the teachers in the book, I had a chance to expound on the themes of the book, not as a puppet for any entity, but as a real teacher working in the schools.

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José Luis Vilson

December 24, 2013

Do You See Yourself As The Leader? [The Takeover: Part 1]


How often did you ever sit in a district-wide meeting and think, "You know, if I was up there, I would probably do a better job than this?"

The PowerPoint presentations with the tiny lettering and chop shop imagery slide through in a soporific rhythm, as if you haven't heard it all before. Common Core this, teacher evaluation that, SMART goals and the other. You'll grab your bagel and orange juice and you'll jot down a few things. When your principal asks you how it went, you'll say "Good."

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José Luis Vilson

November 1, 2013

Why Teachers Need To Start Their Own Professional Development


With our current school structure, it's no wonder teachers are creating our own PDs outside of whatever our school districts offer us. Not only do we lack a real sense of what professional teachers need / want, but we're still under an archaic model where we believe student learning is linear instead of jagged, oft scattered progressions. If they progress at all.

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José Luis Vilson

October 14, 2013

Why Teachers Should Write More Books


It feels like a long time since I've penned anything here. For those of you unaware, I've been immersed in working on my first solo book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education. As it stands, I'd feel comfortable putting this out there to the people who read me consistently. Yet, to break through the usual debate on education literature, my editor and I thought it best to flesh this book out for a more coherent message.

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