Hello and welcome to our Fantastic Fifth Grade page. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sonja Patterson and I am proud to be a fifth grade teacher at Herrera Elementary School in El Paso, Texas. I have been teaching for 13 years, all in the El Paso Independent School District and have had the privilege of teaching in the first, second, fourth, and now fifth grades. While each age group is different, they are all GREAT in their own way.
Regardless of the age group I may be teaching, my philosophy remains the same. I believe that for each child to gain the most from their educational experience, they must be comfortable in their environment. Therefore, respect for anyone involved in our day is expected. I believe in encouraging appropriate behaviors through positive reinforcement and discouraging inappropriate behaviors through a system of consequences.
I also believe that students learn best when they are encouraged to explore the world around them. It is for this reason, that whenever possible we work in groups and with materials that allow the students to understand the concepts being taught in a more concrete fashion.
In addition, I believe in utilizing "learning stations" whenever possible. Through "learning stations" the children are able to practice a variety of skills while also learning other important lessons, such as responsibility, decision-making and self-discipline. Because learning stations allow for more hands-on activities, the students also cultivate a love for learning that will continue throughout their lives.
Last but definitely not least, I believe that parents are a child's first and best teachers. While parents may be invited to our classroom for various events throughout the year, please understand that I have an "open door" policy. Parents are welcome at any time. In addition, I ask that parents be involved in the students' learning on a daily basis.
Finally, on a more personal level, I am married and have raised 8 wonderful children. In addition, we now have 2 beautiful grandchildren, a little boy and a little girl. With our children all grown and most of them living on their own, I felt a need to have something to keep me busy when school wasn't in session. So, last summer we adopted 2 lab puppies, in addition to the cat we already had. Needless to say, I DO stay very busy and enjoy my time with family very much.