Special Education Teacher
Los Angeles, CA
Michelle Sánchez is a Special Education Teacher at Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School, the only grade 7-12 school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). In this role, she works with High Functioning Autistic students, creating individualized educational plans to help students develop non-cognitive skills in social communication, executive functioning, and behavioral self-management. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Sánchez serves as an Assistant Coach for Cross Country and for Track and Field.
Prior to joining the faculty at Eagle Rock, Ms. Sánchez spent four years with the Boston Public Schools. She taught eighth grade English and History at Gardner Pilot Academy, a full-inclusion K-8 school that is further distinguished as one of 21 pilot schools within the district. In addition to teaching, Ms. Sánchez also served as the school’s Media and Technology Specialist. In this role, she supported teachers with integrating technology into curriculum, advised students as they launched the school’s first newspaper and yearbook publications, and empowered families through English and Spanish language instruction in computer literacy with the Technology Goes Home organization. Drawing on these experiences, Ms. Sánchez has presented on family and community engagement strategies at Boston College’s New Teacher Academy Conference and on technology integration methods at Harvard University’s LearnLaunch15 Conference. Her passion for education began as a teacher’s assistant at Dickinson College Children’s Center and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. Ms. Sanchez also had the opportunity of serving middle school students in Sacramento, CA through the Breakthrough Collaborative summer teaching fellowship.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michelle Sánchez is the proud daughter of Mexican and Costa Rican immigrants. She attended LAUSD public schools, graduating from Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School as a Posse Foundation Scholar. A first-generation college graduate, Ms. Sánchez earned her B.A. in American Studies and Spanish at Dickinson College. She completed the Breakthrough Collaborative summer teaching fellowship in Sacramento, CA and went on to complete her M.Ed. in Secondary Education History at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education as a Donovan Urban Teaching Scholar.
What do you love about teaching?
Teaching enables me to work with students of all backgrounds and ability levels, and I strive to inspire all of my students to fully embrace their potential, to set high and ambitious goals, and to work toward those goals with confidence.
When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?
I was fortunate to have many dedicated teachers—such as Ms. Ngo, Ms. Lynch, Mr. Oswald, Mr. Beaty— who cultivated my curiosity for learning, who showed patience and compassion on my bad days, and who gave me the confidence to reach the finish line. I am honored to return to Eagle Rock to teach alongside many of my former teachers, and I like to think that I may also have a few future teachers in my classroom.
Why do you teach?
I teach to help my students become aware of their strengths and interests so that they can ultimately find their voice.