Reader Appreciation: José Vilson

Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.


November is Reader Appreciation Month at So You Want To Teach? Today’s featured reader is José Vilson.

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Name: José Vilson
Location: New York, NY
Occupation: 6th Grade Math Teacher
Blog: The José Vilson

Tell me some of your favorite things about your job
My favorite things about my job are the ability to help children achieve their best, inspiring them not only academically but personally. I also like getting up on my stage and performing for them, too. The thrill of a good and well thought out lesson is incomparable. I love the kids’ energies. Their inquisitiveness makes me want to go and teach them, and push them harder. I love the instant feedback I get from my students about my own performance, even when they don’t realize they’re doing it.

Tell me some things you loved about your favorite teacher(s)
My favorite teacher was someone who pushed me hard, never letting me settle for anything less than the best I could do. He was great, and someone who wasn’t afraid to be himself even when he wasn’t supposed to.

List some of your most effective classroom management strategies
The most effective teaching strategies I’ve found are:

  1. Before anything else, find out who you are as a person. Find your strengths, weaknesses, and how your chemistry works with others
  2. Whatever your rules, keep them concise, keep them consistent, keep them fair
  3. It’s easy to hit the red button when things are going out of control, but you need to remember that you’re the captain
  4. Follow through with everything you do and keep good records.
  5. Don’t make threats you won’t follow through on. Actions speak louder than words.

Name (up to) three other blogs that you frequently visit/subscribe

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