Kate O'Rourke


Diverse Learner Teacher, K-2

Kate is driven to teach by her endless curiosity and love of human beings. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Special Education and Creative Writing, but life has been her greatest teacher – from growing up in Chicago, to single motherhood, extraordinary friendships, and the many things that students and families teach her every day. Kate has taught preschool and kindergarten in CPS, facilitated sensory integration playgroups in a clinic, and partnered with families in their homes as an Early Intervention developmental therapist. She has also worked as a community organizer, collaborating with phenomenal parents and caregivers to create support groups, Spanglish conversation circles, and participatory workshops to celebrate the wisdom of immigrant families, people with developmental differences, and the heroic caregivers and domestic workers who form the bedrock of our society. Check out the links on neurodiversity and education advocacy that she has gathered at http://www.prosocialpower.org/resources.html.

What is your favorite place in the world and why?

My daughter's loft bed. We love to curl up there together with our cat by the sunny window, and read books on Saturday mornings.

What is a mantra you strive to live by?

"Namaste," of course! My days go so much better when I flex my compassion muscles and remind myself that there is a brilliant light inside everybody - I just have to find it, and show them that I honor their light.

What has been your greatest adventure?

My daughter is Bosnian-American. Co-parenting a bicultural child, learning Bosnian, and spending several summers in the green, misty Balkans have been some of my greatest adventures!

What are you passionate about?

I'm passionate about honoring the wisdom of parents, grandparents, nannies, and other caregivers. We need to give them credit as our children's first teachers!

My favorite thing about working at Namaste Charter School is...

My amazing coworkers. Namaste teachers are some of the most dedicated, dynamic, creative and authentic people I have ever met.