Teacher Pathways: Justin Meltzer
Hardy Williams High
After 10 years and three positions at Mastery’s Hardy High, Justin Meltzer understands and values the opportunities for growth at Mastery. While he humbly admits that Mastery took a chance with him, Meltzer has fully embraced the Mastery community – from the principal and staff to the students and their families – to create a career experience of which he is truly proud. Learn more about Meltzer’s journey at Mastery in this Staff Spotlight.
What do you love about working at Mastery?
I love working at Mastery because of the relationships I’ve formed with our community’s students and families. Over the past 10 years at Hardy High, I’ve served in multiple roles within the school that provided me with the opportunity to connect with students and families as they transition from elementary into high school.
This connection that develops with a student and their family during the transition phase is critically important. When I speak with a student’s family, I love how we often already know and trust one another because I’ve likely already taught a sibling, cousin, or even a friend. For me, it’s important that our students and their families feel safe, valued, and comfortable at school. I love contributing to that feeling.
Share a memorable moment in your career at Mastery.
During my second end-of-year review in 2013, which was two years and four coaching cycles after my initial hire, my principal started crying when addressing my performance. She expressed how proud she was of the growth our students demonstrated on their exams, as well as, the professional development I had shown in classroom observations. I’ll never forget that moment, because it was a clear reminder of the magnitude of our work and the impact on the lives we touch, including my own.
How has Mastery helped you in your professional development?
Often, I reflect back on the person I was in 2011 and feel incredibly grateful to Mastery for taking a shot on hiring me as a 7th and 8th grade teacher. I was not ready to teach or lead effectively when I started at Mastery. Through hard work and the support of my principal, I’ve been able to move from teaching middle school to serving as a literacy coach to, now, working as an assistant principal of instruction. Throughout my time at Mastery, I’ve always worked in partnership with my manager to develop and execute actionable next steps to improve my performance. As a result, I’ve received incredible opportunities to teach, lead, and impact our young people.