Teacher Spotlight: Karri Gomez

Even when she was young and living in the tiny town of Ponca City, Oklahoma — a town so small that there wasn’t even a McDonald’s until she turned 13 — Karri Gomez knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. My family was either in teaching, farming, or insurance — there was no in between. My parents, aunts, and uncles were teachers. I’ve always had a natural knack for communication and reaching kids,” said Gomez. “I learned [from my family] at a very early age that teaching was more than giving instruction in a classroom setting: it’s about building confidence and life skills.”

Over the years, Gomez watched her family make a difference in their students’ lives and became inspired to do the same in her future classroom. She believes that every experience you have molds you. She moved around frequently as a child, and those experiences strongly affect her approach to teaching. She’s conscious of how every child feels in her classroom and remembers what she would have wanted as a new student.

“We moved around a lot, and when we moved, I got to experience being the new kid — sometimes good, sometimes bad,” said Gomez. “I had teachers that were empathetic and teachers that weren’t. It really taught me what it’s like for a child to experience being new, and I would never want someone to experience the negative things that I did; I really want them to experience the positive things. I want to create an enriching and engaging classroom where students enjoy the learning process.”

In Gomez’s classroom, she makes the curriculum come alive, whether it’s through solving exciting “classroom crimes” with interactive clues or by sharing funny, relatable stories. You’ll never find her at her desk; she’s constantly involved with her students, joyful as she watches them discover new information.

“I’ll teach any grade level, I love them all! But third grade is so much fun. What’s so amazing about this age group is this is when they start to develop their own voice and personality. They take what they’ve learned and really start to apply it,” said Gomez. “They become more independent and mature learners; they become more advanced readers, writers, mathematicians, and thinkers. We go deeper into topics and the students can relate the content to their personal life and experience. This shows up in their writing and everything becomes more personal. It’s so much fun watching them grow throughout the year!”

Not only does Gomez help students grow academically, but spiritually. At the top of every assignment, each student’s paper is headed with Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” She loves sharing the Word of God with them and loves watching their eyes light up in the faith-filled moments

“As a teacher, I always say a prayer about the class I’m going to get,” said Gomez. “It’s not so much, “How am I going to get through all this material?” It’s, “Open my eyes to what they need. How can I help them? Who needs help academically? Who needs to challenged? Who is lacking in self-confidence?”

Throughout the year, Gomez gets to know each student as an individual and encourages them to push through challenges. It’s important that each child understands how capable they are and that they can always lean on the Lord, because He will always be there for them.

“I never look at what I do as a job; I love working with my students. I love that I get to learn with them. Building a strong rapport with students is the key to a successful learning experience,” said Gomez. “Students have to know they can come to you. You have to be there for [students] and get to know them. They have to know I’m going to help them, be there for them, and cheer them on.”

As an Orlando private school, our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Finish School Projects Quickly and Efficiently

There’s only so many hours in a day. It can be hard to schedule enough time for homework, much less fit in group projects, where you have to coordinate your schedule with classmates. St. Charles Borromeo, a College Park private school, loves the collaboration and teamwork that happens in group projects — they’re great practice for the future! Here are a few tips for making them as quick, efficient, and stress-free as possible.

Assign and Record Tasks

Start by having a conversation as a whole team about what needs to be done, and make sure no one leaves before you’ve decided who is responsible for what. You can save a lot of time by first deciding who is going to take on each part of the project! You don’t have to worry about two people doing the same thing — or risk an important step being skipped. Make a record of who has what job, when they need to finish by, and how the team can help them.

Communicate Often

If you need help from another group member or have a question, make sure you communicate this as soon as possible. When you talk early and often, you can prevent small problems from becoming big problems. Decide on the best communication method, such as a group texting app, and set a rule for how often members have to check their messages and respond accordingly.

Don’t Wait to Start Your Work

Treat your group project with the same care that you’d give your own work. Don’t put your work aside until the last minute; you may end up needing help from a team member that they don’t have time to give, or you might not have enough time to finish your part. Treat your team members the same way you wish to be treated!

Support Your Teammates

Everyone loves knowing that their work is appreciated. One way you can help your project succeed is by supporting your team. If someone did an amazing job, congratulate them! If someone helped out without being asked, thank them. And if someone’s struggling to get their part done, reach out and ask how you can help. This level of support is key for getting good work done fast.

St. Charles Borromeo and other College Park private schools aren’t the only places your child will experience group projects. Most of our lives include working with other people to get something done. By using these tips, you can put together a project deserving of that A grade — and you can get it done long before it’s due.

Questions to Ask at Back to School Night

It’s September, and school is fully back in session! Back to School Night is the perfect opportunity to get to know your child’s new teachers. As an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo takes the learning process very seriously, and we believe these questions can help you partner with your child’s teacher and get ready for a successful year.

What Does a Regular Day or Week Look Like?

Your child may not always do the best job of relaying what they’re learning at school. To make it easier to get involved, ask their teacher what a normal day may look like for your child, or if there are weekly rituals that are important to know about — for instance, perhaps each child is given a quiet reading time in the morning, or the classroom ends every Friday with a science experiment or hands-on learning project. This will help you start conversations with your child about specific things in their world!

How Do You Adapt Your Teaching Methods For Different Learning Styles?

Every child learns differently. Some pick up concepts at the drop of the hat, while others need time to process or practice; some are kinesthetic learners, while others are visual or auditory learners. This is a great opportunity to discover how your child’s teacher meets the needs of their varied classroom.

How Do Students Practice Critical Thinking Skills in Your Classroom?

It’s important that students learn how to utilize critical thinking! Ask your child’s teacher how they encourage students to ask thoughtful questions, pursue creative solutions, and puzzle through tricky problems.

How Can I Help My Child at Home?

School doesn’t end when your child leaves the classroom! They’ll be taking homework with them and will likely ask you for guidance. Your child’s teacher can offer valuable insight into their learning patterns or what they’re struggling with, and they’ll be thrilled to hear that you want to help your child reach their full potential.

How Do You Handle Students Who Struggle With Their Grades?

It’s important to know when your child starts to struggle so that they can be given the support they need to succeed. Make sure that you’re aware what intervention programs are available for students, and talk to your child as well; tell them to come to you when they start to feel overwhelmed. Together, you can conquer these struggles early in the semester!

The community at St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is excited to partner with you and your child for a year of success! We believe our students reach their best when they’re given an excellent education, a firm foundation in faith, and intentional parental support. You can learn more about what we offer on our about us page.

Back-to-School Study Tips

As the new school year begins, it’s important to remember how messy study habits may cause your child to struggle with their workload. As a College Park private school, St. Charles Borromeo thinks highly of our students and wants them to reach their full potential! Help your child conquer new academic challenges with these study tips.

Create a Study Space

To help make your child’s homework time as productive as possible, set up a disruption-free area where they can concentrate without distractions like technology, lots of people, or a ton of noise. Remember that each child is different, so what works for one may not work for another! When your child has a designated study spot, they won’t have to search for a quiet space every day. If your child likes to study with background music, add that to their study space to help make it feel comfortable and relaxed.

Give Tips for Careful Listening

Children absorb a lot of information in school, so help your child practice active listening to help them get the most out of class time. By helping your child learn how to identify main points and pay extra attention to their teacher’s gestures and tones, they’ll be able to retain what they learn and take note of important information.

Keep a Consistent Schedule

Between time with family, friends, and extracurricular activities, it can be difficult to find time for homework each day. Rather than squeezing in homework during free time, consistently allot time just for homework; this will guarantee that your child is never scrambling to find time to study.

Discuss the Difference Between Studying and Homework

Children commonly assume doing their homework is the same as studying, but it’s important that they understand the difference. While homework can help children reinforce information that was recently taught, studying involves deeper memorization and understanding. Explain to your child that when they study a little bit at a time every day, their homework will become easier, and they will be more successful on tests. Encourage your child to take notes while reading, summarize information in their own words, and make flashcards. These few extra steps will help students better retain what they’ve learned.

We’re excited to see how much our students will learn and grow during this upcoming school year! If you’re looking for a College Park private school, come visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. We believe our students should study hard, play hard, and pray hard in order to become responsible, respectful adults. You can learn more about our curriculum on our about us page.

Summer Science Activities

School may be out for the summer, but opportunities to learn never end! It’s easy for students to experience an academic slump after being out of the classroom for so long, but science experiments can help them learn and make it fun. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, has a few suggestions for science experiments to try with your kids this summer.

Cold and Colorful Foam

Want a sensory, colorful experiment for your kids? Fill a few small containers with ¼ cup of clear hand soap and ¾ cup warm water, then pour a few drops of the food coloring of your choice in each. Mix in 2 tbsp baking soda followed by 2 tbsp citric acid. (You can buy this at your local Target or Walmart) The citric acid will react with the baking soda to create foam! Don’t be afraid to encourage your kids to play with it — this endothermic chemical reaction will also cause the foam to feel chilly.

Solar S’mores

Want s’mores without the hassle of a fireplace? Try making your own s’more oven with a leftover pizza box. First, measure a square two inches from each side of the box, then cut out three sides to form a flap. Line the inside of the box with tin foil and then tape black construction paper to the bottom. Next, tape down clear plastic sheet protectors as tight as you can to the opening you cut into the box. Finally, attach a skewer to the box’s side to prop up the lid. Your oven is now ready to cook s’mores Florida style! Place your s’mores inside the box, put it outside, and watch them cook.

Magic Rocks

Create your own treasure hunt with magic rocks. Add baking soda to a bowl with food coloring — any amount of baking soda will do, depending on how big you want your rock to be. Slowly and carefully add water to create a moldable mixture; be careful not to over soak! You can always add more baking soda if your mixture is too watery. Mold the mixture into balls, placing small treasures inside. Let them dry for 24 hours. Have your child use a spray bottle with vinegar to spray the balls. The vinegar will react with the baking soda to fizz and reveal the treasure!

We hope you and your kids enjoy these fun science activities, and the rest of summer vacation. If you’re looking for an Orlando private school to enroll your children in next school year, visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. We would love to have you as part of our community!

 

Graduation: The Best Memories Guide

It’s almost time for graduation! As an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo will miss our graduating classes, but we’re proud of our students’ accomplishments this year and excited about their bright futures. No matter their age, graduation is the perfect time to capture memories, so take a look at some of our favorite momentos below.

Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

This class is growing up fast! You can capture their youth by creating a simple DIY craft with their handprint. To make a salt dough ornament, combine one cup of salt with one cup of flour in a bowl, mix in ½ cup water, and knead the dough. Press it into a circle and put a little paint on your child’s hand. Then, press it into the dough. Remember to punch a hole into it to thread ribbon through before leaving it out to dry.

You can also make a keychain! Paint your child’s hand with a gloss-finish acrylic craft paint, then gently press their hand onto Shrinky Dink plastic. Once the paint dries completely, use a Sharpie to add their name to the opposite side. After that dries, cut out the handprint, punch a hole in the plastic, and bake it in the oven for 2-3 minutes until it’s flat. Afterward, use small pliers to loop a keyring into the hole. Now, you have a memory you can take with you anywhere!

Another option is to decorate a dish towel. Place a white dishcloth onto cardboard or newspaper, paint your child’s hand with fabric paint, and press their hand to the fabric. Let it dry for 24 hours, then heat set it by ironing the opposite side or by putting the fabric into the dryer for an hour. Make sure to leave it alone for another day or two before washing.

Now that you have a small decoration, you can also create a snapshot of their personality by having them write an “about me.” Think of it as a small letter to their future self, sharing their dream career, favorite food, favorite hobby, and more.

8th Graders

Want to capture memories and get excited about high school? Have a photo day! Get your child together with their best friends and take pictures with them donning their future high school colors. Then, plan a day for your child and their friends to scrapbook together with the photos you took, as well as any others they want to include.

This may also be a good time to revisit that “about me” to see how much has changed — or stayed the same! Ask them to write a new one to revisit when they graduate high school and suggest that they store it inside their scrapbook.

High School Seniors

High school is almost over and it’s time for another picture day! Gather your child and their friends, have them wear their university colors, and take pictures in their favorite spots on campus and around town. And of course, pull out those old “about me” letters or DIY handprint crafts as a reminder of how much they’ve grown. For a humorous momento, recreate their childhood photos, paying special attention to poses, clothing, and facial expressions!

We wish our graduating classes good luck in all their future endeavors — we can’t wait for you to come back and visit us to tell us all about them! And if your graduating little one is looking for a new Orlando Catholic school, visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. We mix faith and education to give children strong stepping stones for a successful future.

Teaching Children to be Kind

A parent’s top priority is to teach children kindness and help them grow into wholesome adults. The staff at St. Charles Borromeo has the same vision, which is why we provide children with these stepping stones to follow in God’s footsteps.

Be an Example

To raise kind children we must first examine our own behavior. We can tell them to play nice with others, but it’s by watching how we treat people that they learn the true meaning. Remember that children look at us to learn how to maneuver social situations, and by setting a good example, they just might follow your lead.

Be Kind to Them

Children often have a very simple way of voicing what they do and do not want to do. This behavior is okay for most younger children, but as they grow older we can use it as a stepping stone to teach empathy. A lot can be accomplished by validating their feelings, talking through them, and then offering another point of view.

Reward Excess Kindness

We learn early in life that there’s a level of kindness that’s expected from everyone. We don’t give accolades for cleaning dishes or paying compliments to friends. However, when a child goes above and beyond what’s expected it should be rewarded, such as when they do extra chores or offer to donate their Christmas toys to charity.

Kindness is something that children can pick up from many places in their lives—from their parents, their friends, and even their school.

If you’re currently looking to enroll your children in an Orlando Catholic school, consider visiting us at St. Charles Borromeo. Through attention to our students’ educational and spiritual needs, we give them a strong foundation they need to grow into smart, compassionate adults who follow Him. If you want to learn more about our curriculum, you can find out more on our about us page.

Which Holiday Side Dish Fits Your Personality?

The community at St. Charles Borromeo hopes that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. While the turkey leftovers might have finally disappeared from your refrigerators, we know that it’s not quite time to let go of all of that holiday food! Based on your personality, here are the side dishes you should keep making for the rest of the season!

Sweet Potato

Do you like to bend the rules, but don’t like pushing the limit too far? Consider making a nice batch of sweet potatoes. Like you, this classic dish is versatile and unique. You can bake and stuff them with sour cream for a classic side dish, or get creative with melted cheese, spices, and a pinch of bacon bits. You decide how special you want this dish to be!

Cranberry Sauce

This is an easy favorite, especially for those with a sweet tooth. Cranberry sauce is a dependable holiday staple. You don’t have to worry about spending hours preparing it, because it’s just there, ready to be enjoyed, and you’re similar: you’re relaxed and laid back, and your friends know you’ll be there when they need you.

Stuffing

Sure, stuffing is a part of the main turkey dish, but we’ll let that slide for now. Just like we plan our holiday meals down to a tee, you plan ahead instead of going with the flow, and you prefer plans to be locked down in advance. Your friends and family know you’ll be prepared for whatever comes along.

Have you figured out which Thanksgiving side dish fits you? We hope it’s one of your favorite foods, and maybe one you’ll incorporate it into your Christmas dinner plans.

As an Orlando private school, we say our thanks to God for all that He has given. If you’re looking to enroll your children in a school that nurtures both their education and their spirituality, consider visiting us. You can learn more about our values on our about us page.

Saint Spotlight: St. Charles Borromeo

The weather is getting cooler as we quickly approach the holiday season. In early November, it will be time for the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo. The students at St. Charles Borromeo would like to take a moment to remember our patron saint.

St. Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of bishops, cardinals, seminarians, and spiritual leaders. As you’ll see, he was a highly important figure of the Counter-Reformation in Italy. His dedication to God is something we all can learn from and embrace.

St. Charles Borromeo was appointed as a Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan in 1560 by his uncle, Pope Pius IV. His uncle relied upon him while directing the third convocation of the Council of Trent—and St. Charles Borromeo continued to maintain the Council’s decrees after it closed. This led him to be instrumental in the 1566 Roman Catechism.

After his uncle’s death, St. Charles Borromeo lived in Milan where he regularly visited more than 1,000 widely scattered parishes. He sought to apply the edicts of the Council of Trent to his own diocese by striving to end the sale of indulgences, reform monasteries, and simplify the interiors of ornate churches. His work didn’t end there—St. Charles Borromeo also fostered clerical education, established seminaries and colleges, and erected and entrusted colleges for lay students to the Jesuits.

St. Charles Borromeo was later overcome by political turmoil, including surviving an assassination attempt and pleading mercy for his attacker. However, his great work within his communities led him to retain the support of many religious congregations. His heroic behavior during the plague in 1576-1578 earned him even more support. Even during turmoil, he continued to be a blessing to the community in Milan by giving away much of his wealth to give food to the hungry and care for the sick.

Our community at St. Charles Borromeo hopes to be as helpful to others as St. Charles Borromeo was within his own community. As we approach the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo and remember his work, we will aim to follow in God’s footsteps and be blessings to those around us. If you have a similar vision and are looking for a Catholic school to help your children grow academically and spiritually, please consider visiting us at St. Charles Borromeo.

 

As a faith-filled community, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, an Orlando Catholic school, is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We are cultivating responsible, respectful, trustworthy individuals who are confident in their knowledge and compassionate in His service. If you want to learn more about St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, visit our blog page or contact us today!

7 Signs Your Kids Went to Catholic School

Parents choose to send their children to a Catholic school so that they have the opportunity to get a quality education while also being able to grow spiritually. The long-term benefits are clear; children in Catholic schools often grow up to be respectable, responsible adults who follow His word. As an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo has seen this first-hand, but we’ve also noticed a few other fun, tell-tale signs that a child has attended an Orlando Catholic school.’

  1. K-8 is Called “Grammar School”
    St. Charles helps each student live up to their full potential academically. That includes making sure that everyone has a basic, fundamental understanding of how to read and write. Catholic schools may be jokingly called “grammar schools” as a result—but students enter high school and, later, college with the ability to write well.
  1. Class is Like Family
    It’s difficult to know everyone who attends a public school. A Catholic school like St. Charles, however, has much smaller class sizes. As a result, children often grow up around the same classmates. They know everyone else in their class, and there are no strangers.Mass is Attended
  2. Twice a Week
    Children in Catholic schools know that they’re not going to attend mass just once during the week. They’ll often go twice—once at St. Charles, and another with their family.
  3. Days Always Start with Morning Prayer
    Catholic school students know that a day can’t start without morning prayer. They begin every morning with their thoughts focused on Him.
  4. They Memorize the Bible Through Songs
    Music makes it easier to retain information—including Bible stories. Students, when they need to remember something, often turn toward a song. And they probably even know a dance that goes with it.
  5. They’re Always Explaining Catholic School to Their Friends
    Children who don’t go to Catholic school may have false impressions of what it’s like. And Catholic school students are often debunking myths, such as “every teacher is a priest or nun.”
  6. They Love Their School and Friends
    At St. Charles, the faculty and students foster a culture of respect. Students learn early how to care for each other and their school—and that turns into them truly feeling as though they are a part of a tight-knit community. And that sense of community will stay with them even into adulthood when they look back and think of the great memories they made at school.

As an Orlando Catholic school, we love seeing how a Catholic education can have a positive impact on students. We also love accepting more students into our community. If you’re looking for a Catholic school for your child, you can learn more about St. Charles Borromeo through our about us page.