Important Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cait O'ConnorBlog, Connect Better

TL;DR: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. offers us insights that are applicable to our practice as teachers. His teachings can act as entry points into our own lives by calling on us to have the courage to do difficult work for and with our students. “In a real sense, all life is interrelated.  All people are caught in an inescapable … Read More

Kindness Doesn’t Equal Justice

Cait O'ConnorBlog, Engage Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Being kind is key to creating a better world, but it isn’t the same thing as justice. Kindness that is rooted in justice isn’t always comfortable, but it’s necessary to create change that matters and affects marginalized students and communities. Kindness is a human way that we connect to each other, in both words and actions. Being kind to … Read More

Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month: Celebrating All Year

Cait O'ConnorBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Lead Better

TL;DR: Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th-October 15th. The terms Hispanic and Latino have different origins and cultural and political meanings. Hispanic primarily refers to individuals who come from Spanish-speaking nations. Latinx offers a more ethnic and geographic understanding and includes individuals who come from non-Spanish-speaking countries. Latine and Latinx are gender-neutral forms of Latino. Latinx and Hispanic … Read More

What Are Book Deserts?

Cait O'ConnorBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better

TL;DR: A book desert is defined as a “geographic area with limited access to age-appropriate books, print materials and reading culture.”  Reading requires time and access to materials. Students have a right to quality, diverse, and robust selections of books. Consider representation in reading materials. Readers who can see themselves in books are more likely to pick up more books. What is … Read More

Maintaining a Summertime Social Justice Practice

Cait O'ConnorBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Reflect Better, Teach Happier

TL;DR: Social justice work is about consistent commitment and action. Reflect, disrupt, and teach to maintain a social justice practice this summer. Summer is a time when teachers rest, relax, and catch up on the reading we didn’t get to do during the school year (or is that just me?). Most teachers, even through summer, spend time planning for the … Read More