John S. O’Connor has taught English classes for the past twenty five years in a wide range of settings from 6th grade to university classes, including Northwestern University and Penn State. He has taught in public and private schools, urban and suburban schools, a maximum security prison and an adult literacy center and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and New Trier H.S. in Winnetka, IL. O’Connor has written two books on teaching writing: This Time It’s Personal: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative Nonfiction, and Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing and Performing Poetry in the English Classroom. A recent nonfiction essay was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays (2011), and his most recent book of poems was a finalist for the Touchstone Distinguished Book Award in 2012. O’Connor has served as the education contributor for NPR affiliate, WBEZ, and he has blogged on the intersection of poetry and education for the Poetry Foundation. His poems have appeared in places such as The Cortland Review, Poetry East, and RHINO. He has been a featured speaker at state English Council conferences, and he frequently speaks at schools and universities.
View John O'Connor's Resume/Vita, Publications and Workshops.
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Learn more about John in this video where he reflects on what teacher's face on the first day of school (from an NPR interview).
- Poetry Reading, Writing, and Performance
- Teaching Nonfiction
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- "Teacher as Reformer, Chicago, IL. Presented “Life Lessons: Learning to Analyze Characters and Ourselves through Story”
- "StoryFrames: Using Student Narrative to Improve Comprehension”
- “All Writing Is Creative: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative Nonfiction”
- “Real World Teaching: Writing throughout the Curriculum and All around the World”
- “21st Century Literacy: Blogging In (and Out) of the Classroom”
- “Media Literacy: Using Visual texts to Inform Literary Analysis”
- “Reading our Students in order to Help Students Read”