“Do I dare disturb the universe?” -T.S. Eliot
Hi, I’m Caty Dearing—pronounced “Katie.” Not Cathy (No, Susan, I didn’t forget the ‘h’) or Cat-y (Mean Girls messed that one up for me). Names are important, ya’ll.
I set out into the world of teaching desperate to become the Mr. Keating of my suburban Texas district. I turned 22 the week before school started, and entered an 11th grade class with the certainty that, within days, we would be eating crisp, green apples under the willow tree, discussing literature with passion and conviction. By the end of my first week, I confiscated a note containing a doodled picture of me, wearing a witch’s hat with a swastika drawn on the front. Needless to say, disillusionment is a real thing.
I found my way. I shifted to teaching elementary for a few years, eventually making it back to the high school students who had terrified me through that first year of teaching, and then became the absolute joy of my life. The rest of my teaching career was spent surrounded by young adults finding their ways in the world, learning how to use words as their vehicle to do so. Now, as a literacy consultant/coach, I find myself engaging in these same practices with teachers, hoping each day to help them connect to and use their passions within this work.
Education is a family affair; my husband Justin was also a teacher until shifting into the world of school public relations. He now is an assistant director of communications in a nearby district. Our daughter, K, is what I affectionately refer to as a “hot mess.” Her passions include reading chapter books by flashlight in her bed, watching European cooking shows, and learning how to wield nun-chucks in Tae Kwon Do.
As a teacher, one of the most important things I reiterated to my students every single day is to “Use your voice.” I encouraged them to break silence on what mattered to them, to write, speak, create…to make themselves heard. Now, as a literacy leader, I find it is equally important to provide teachers the space to be heard, to use their voices, to advocate for themselves and their students.
This blog is an attempt to practice what I preach. In order to know what I think about literacy, education, the world, I need to write. I hope to use this space to explore deeper understandings, to create and share resources, to challenge the ideas of myself and others, to discuss texts.
This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.