Mr. R.J. Tagorda
“To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love, For it is in giving that we receive. . .”
~ from The Prayer of Saint Francis
Meet "Mr. T"
Hello, y'all! My name is Ramon “RJ” Tagorda, and I am a teacher, the Vice Principal, and the Tech Director at Holy Cross Catholic School. In addition to teaching Technology to various grades, I will also teach 8th Grade Religion and a Seminar Course, designed to prepare our 8th graders to be successful in their last year at Holy Cross, in high school, and beyond. I am currently in my tenth year at Holy Cross, and I feel blessed to be a part of such a holy, engaging, active, and friendly community!
I grew up in New Orleans and have been involved in teaching/coaching/mentoring/summer camp counseling students in Catholic schools for 15+ years. In my free time, I enjoy playing chess, eating (a lot), board games, and trying my best at basketball. I may be far from home, but I love the Portland area and the beautiful, "weird" culture of the City of Roses (especially the delicious food!).
My classroom--or more accurately, "our classroom" since it belongs to both myself and my students--is both challenging and engaging, built upon a positive learning environment created by the teacher, the students, and the school community as a whole. In our classroom, the students come first, and all I ask is that they come into class with a positive attitude and an open mind prepared to learn.
I am looking forward to another blessing-filled year at Holy Cross Catholic School. My door will always be open, so please feel free to stop by and say, “Hi”!
- B.A. in Latin and Ancient Greek, Tulane University
- Masters of Arts in Teaching and Teaching Licensure (K-12 English), University of Portland
- Administrative Licensure, University of Portland
Contact Mr. T
I will respond to your e-mail within 24 hours. If I do not do so, please feel free to send me a follow-up e-mail, making sure that I received the previous one.
"Let us never grow tired of doing good."
- In our classroom before the start of class, I invite my students to silently pray a meditative prayer. I encourage all of my students to pray daily, and I certainly encourage you to do the same. I am a big fan of Fr. Mike Schmitz and highly recommend his Podcast: Fr. Mike Schmitz Podcast
- Looking for ways to engage your teen in the Christian faith? I suggest LifeTeen! This website has a lot of helpful resources designed to strengthen teen faith in a relatable and fun way.
- Growth Mindset: The belief that basic abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication
- In our classroom, I encourage all of us (teacher and student) to foster a growth mindset. We embrace the ideas of "struggling" and "tackling challenges" because one grows through overcoming obstacles in life. Hopefully, we all recognize our particular areas of strength, or growth, and work hard to develop our abilities, regardless of where we began in life.
- I also encourage parents/guardians to foster a growth mindset within their child(ren) at home. There are many articles on the web about incorporating a growth mindset in one's life. Here's a start for parents/guardians who want to introduce growth mindset in their household: What Every (Great) Parent Should Know About the Mindset of Success
Growth Mindset Links
8th Grade Religion
We will be covering many topics this year with the focus being on exploring our faith/beliefs and learning more about ourselves and our values. Our curriculum will cover (but is not limited to):
- Reviewing (and learning) the basic tenets of the Catholic faith
- Preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation (or learning what that entails for those who aren't Catholic or aren't ready to be confirmed)
- Developing a moral conscience
- Experiencing Christian prayer and other liturgical services
- Learning about the basic beliefs of other faiths
- Participating in service opportunities and other ways of living out the Christian faith
Our Current Unit: The Catholic Mass
I recommend students from grades 3-8 to practice their typing as often as possible. Here are some resources to help you can use to practice:
NitroType - fun online typing game (caution: there is a friend & chat feature integrated within the game)
Coding is a useful skill for 21st century learners, and it's quite enjoyable as well! In grades 1-5, we learn basic coding skills through "coding-like" activities. In grades 6-8, we will apply what we learned to create actual coding language (emphasis on Python). Here are some websites to practice:
Code.org (for all grades)
Scratch Coding (for all grades, requires an account)
Khan Academy Coding (for advanced coders, Grades 6+)
If you like to listen to instrumental music while working, check out some of the links below:
The websites below are used in our classroom. They are approved to be both educational and fun!
ALL Grades General Websites
- Ask a Tech Teacher Links--A website complete with links created by a tech teacher with multiple years of experience. Highly Recommended!
- ChessKid--A very informative website that teaches kids how to play chess and how to improve their chess playing abilities. The website also allows students from around the nation to play games against one another.
- DOGO News--Current Events for students of grade levels 4+
- Khan Academy--Popular website with educational videos that cover a variety of subjects
- ABCya--A website full of both educational games and games just for fun
- Digital Passport--A website that helps us become responsible digital citizens
- Starfall--Reading and Math programs for early elementary (requires a membership for full access to all programs)
- TeachYourMonsterToRead--Interactive reading website (requires login & password)
- Tween Tribune--What's going on in the world today? (*disclaimer: some news stories may be better suited for older middle school students*)
- Nitro Type--Test your typing Skills against other students
- Typing Test--How fast can you type? (Also contains typing lessons)
- Common Sense Media--An excellent website for parents and students. It contains various resources for staying safe using any form of media. This is the website we currently use for our Digital Citizenship curriculum.
- Connect Safely Guides--Parent guides to various technologies, technology terms, and social media
- NetSmartz--A great website with lots of tips/advice on how to stay safe when using technology
- Surfing and Shopping Safely Online--A blog post with many helpful links and resources about navigating the web
Holy Cross Catholic School YouTube
Check out our school's YouTube page! HCCS PDX YouTube
In an effort to try something new, I've created an Instagram to document what goes on in our classroom...I am hoping this doesn't fail miserably. I'll post important notes from time to time and pictures of all the learning that occurs in our classroom. Click here for a link to our Instagram page.