Tuesday, August 5, 2014

This Is Not A Test

When my colleague Sarah Martin posted about reading This is Not a Test by Jose Vilson, I saw an opportunity for a bonus read this summer.  I had spent all my allotted book money already, but she loaned me the book! (Read her reflection here.)

I feel as though Vilson is calling all of us to use our experiences and knowledge to speak out for better things for education in the United States.  He asks us to speak out for our students and to our students.  Relate to them and do our best to show them how things could be better.  He asks us to speak out for our profession.  To elevate things for teachers and for students in the eyes of the public.  He also asks us to speak for equality in general.  Work against the innate structure of our society to provide privileges to some students rather than others.

It is more an inspiration call than a practical call in that there are not specific suggestions for how to do this.  But rather we must each find our own way to speak out and we must find our own things to speak for.  It feels like a big challenge, how can I live up to it?



  1. Thanks for picking up / reading my book. A few thoughts if I may:

    1) It usually starts with some sort of teacher leadership in your own school. It's the thought that you think globally, act locally. So if you see yourself as the change you seek in your system, then you're changing your persona to fit that need. What that looks like for you obviously has to do with what's missing in your school.

    2) If you can't do it at your school, do it on Twitter or any other digital space. There's always a need for people to speak up and out in digital spaces.

    3) Yes, my book was written with inspiration in mind through a racial lens because we all come to this work through our lenses. I didn't dare write an instructional book because, as it turns out, there's a billion of those these days. There aren't enough narrative-driven books, so yes, I agree.

    Glad I came across this for sure. Feel free to tap me on the shoulder on Twitter.


    1. So honored that you took the time to search out my post! To be honest I was a little rushed in posting this as I have a backlog of started (but unfinished) posts that I want to complete before school starts.

      What I wanted to do was spend time processing how to respond when my students use the phrase "that's so gay" in the context of "I don't like this" I want to find a professional way of helping them change their vocabulary.

      Just having you comment on my post is enough to keep me thinking about it.