Love Your Work: Michael Sanford
7th Grade ELA/Teacher Leader
Frederick Douglass Elementary
Why does Mastery’s Michael Sanford LOVE his work?
“It’s my students,” said Michael, who works as a 7th grade ELA teacher at Mastery’s Fredrick Douglass Elementary School. “They are the biggest part of my job and they’ve kept me committed to this work.”
In his five years of teaching at Mastery, Michael has seen firsthand how students can grow and thrive in the right environments and with continued support.
“Students don’t learn from people they don’t trust. They learn from people who they have relationships with. For a teacher, those relationships start in the classroom,” said Michael, who has been able to stay in touch with a handful of graduates. “The strength of those relationships and connections translates into how students grow and find their place in the world. Students need our consistent presence, they need love, they need support – they need US! That is at the core of why I do the work”
Before teaching at Mastery, Michael was a youth director at a family shelter pursing a master’s degree in education. The position at Mastery Douglass was unexpected and meant changing career paths, but Michael always knew that he wanted to be a teacher and he jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Mastery family.
“At Mastery, there’s a model of continuous improvement that’s embraced by everyone and it’s another reason why I love my work,” said Michael. “There’s no room for being average; everybody is in place where they can grow and Mastery provides an environment to be coached by great leaders. It sets a good tone for the students, who see that we can ALL grow and be better.”
“If you’re looking to be a better teacher, to learn organizational skills, to build real relationships and rapport with professionals, Mastery is a great place to do so and to be the next step in your career.”