January 29, 2016

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Blessings abound as teacher creates special moments for students

Laura Domingo always looks for ways to share her Catholic faith with students through the lessons she teaches and the books they read together. (Submitted photo)

Laura Domingo always looks for ways to share her Catholic faith with students through the lessons she teaches and the books they read together. (Submitted photo)

By John Shaughnessy

In her 17 years as a teacher, Laura Domingo has kept a “gratitude journal” to capture special moments with her students.

“When I see a ‘light bulb’ moment, or when I see them practicing their faith in countless ways, these are the memories I record,” says Domingo, the fourth-grade teacher at St. Mary School in Greensburg.

As one of the best blessings of her teaching career, she lists the ability to share her Catholic faith with her students.

“Over the years, I’ve realized how important it is to tie God into our curriculum, and have challenged myself to do this,” says Domingo, a finalist for the 2015 Saint Theodora Guérin Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor for an educator in the archdiocese. “Prayer is first in our day. My students witness impromptu talks and prayers with God as I share our successes or pleas for help directly to him.

“They smile when I pause and take a moment to say, ‘Hey, God, Joe really needs you right now. He doesn’t think he can get this, and we both know he can. Help me to convince him.’ ”

She often uses this approach as she works to strengthen her students’ reading ability.

“I tie in the moral perspective on characters as we read. ‘What would Suds say to God if he were praying?’ ‘What commandment did Joey just break in this chapter?’ ‘What advice would you give?’ ‘Write a post-it note prayer that a character might need at this point in the novel.’

“It is the day-in, day-out successes that bring me joy. I put blood, sweat and tears into my students.” †
 


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