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Shannon Van Pelt

Philosophy of Education
An elementary education is the most crucial step in the learning process because it is
where a child develops their social, cognitive, and moral skills that they need to further advance
in their education. An elementary education is important socially, cognitively, and morally
because it is where a child learns how to interact with others, develop their attention span,
memory, and critical thinking skills, and determine the difference between right and wrong.
During a childs time in elementary education they are placed in different scenarios, whether
educational or personal, which teach and develop those specific skills. For instance, the
elementary education system helps form the lives of students through the knowledge they obtain,
the different classmates and teachers they encounter, and the life lessons they experience. As an
elementary teacher, it is my job to recognize this and do my personal best to provide students
with educational opportunities that empower them as learners and allow them to develop their
social, cognitive, and moral skills as much as possible.
First and foremost, a child can only learn when he or she feels like they are in a safe
environment with a positive role model who cares for them and advocates for their learning. As
an educator, I must get to know every child in my classroom and gain their trust before I can
successfully start teaching them the required curriculum. I also recognize that a childs personal
life can greatly impact their learning. That is why it is crucial for me to get to know every student
and gain their trust, so I can find out when a childs specific needs are not being fulfilled. Then, I
can create a plan of action to help meet their specific needs and ultimately help that child
educationally and personally. A child will be ready to learn when they feel like they are in a safe
learning environment and they have a positive-role model advocating for them.

Another way that I will establish a safe learning environment for all of my students is by
creating simple and consistent procedures, structures, and routines, that they must follow daily,
that will help them to be successful. I will teach the daily routine to students starting on the first
day of school and I will also explain to them all of my required procedures for all aspects of my
classroom. It is important for students to follow a daily routine and have consistent procedures
because then students will always have an understanding of how exactly to be successful in my
classroom. The structure of my classroom will be based on a handful of rules that will be
consistently and quickly enforceable. My students can always count on me for my consistency. I
believe a child learns best when they have consistency throughout their every day life. That is
why it is important to have consistency in the classroom, so that the students always know what
to expect and can count on me, as their educator, to always be there as their role-model. In a
world where children receive so many mixed messages, the classroom teacher must be the pillar
of example of all classroom rules. For some students, the teacher will be the only role model in
their life. For that reason, a teacher has an obligation and a responsibility to model the very
highest morals and values.
Additionally, one of the constant routines I will create is to have students follow a seating
chart. The seating chart will allow me to access every student at all times. It will be arranged by
placing each student in an area of the room that will ensure their success and cater to their
specific needs.
All students deserve an equal opportunity to learn in the classroom. To ensure all students
receive an equal opportunity to learn, it is important to provide students with a variety of
different teaching methods and strategies that take into account to all students learning styles. I
will differentiate my instruction to create interactive and engaging lessons that meet the needs of

each of my students learning styles. Some of the specific teaching strategies and methods I will
use are direct instruction, modeling, discovery/hands-on, whole-group instruction, small-group
instruction, and individual instruction. I will also incorporate different activities into my daily
lessons such as field trips, guest speakers, technology, plays, projects, reading, writing, acting,
singing, and public speaking. Students best respond to interactive lessons that get them to
actively participate in the learning experience. With that being said, each of my daily lessons will
get each student to be actively engaged and will incorporate a variety of teaching methods and
interactive activities, that I have stated above.
Although I will always change-up my teaching strategies and interactive activities, my
discipline system in the classroom will always be consistent and simple. My classroom is set up
based on organization and procedures that are put in place for each child to be successful. My
discipline system focuses on the positive and is designed to continuously recognize the good
things that students are doing, rather than the negative. My classroom will be centered on six
simple rules. A rewards system will be established to recognize all of the positive things that
every child does in my classroom. When a child does do something negative, I will always talk
them about their behavior privately. I will never draw attention to a childs negative behavior,
unless it is absolutely necessary. I have established a three-step behavior system that starts with a
warning and continually increases by severity. It will be very consistent and every single
violation will get treated the same based on the specific misbehavior. I will record all violations
and positive behavior. A main component of my discipline system is being in constant
communication with the misbehaving student, parents, and principal to make sure that all parties
are aware of the issue and how it is being handled. My discipline system will always be positive
and focused on how I can help make each student successful in my classroom.

When all is said and done, the purpose of elementary education is to provide all students
the opportunity to develop their social, cognitive, and moral skills through educational and social
experiences. In order to develop those skills and promote a love of learning among students, the
educator must be committed to creating a positive and safe learning environment that gives all
students an equal opportunity to learn and be successful. As an educator, I will support my
students success inside and outside of the classroom by being a positive role model, always
being consistent in routines and procedures, using a variety of instructional strategies and
activities, and holding students accountable for their actions.