Names of North Colonie: Meet Latham Ridge Second Grade Teacher Michele Sano

Michele SanoThroughout the year, the Names of North Colonie series will highlight those who help our students reach their full potential. It is a chance for the North Colonie community to get to know our teachers, administrators and staff members on a more personal level.

Michele Sano is in her 10th year of teaching and her third year at Latham Ridge. Michele received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood/childhood education (birth through 6th grade) and a literacy specialist master’s degree (birth through 6th grade). Learn more about Michele below.

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What do you love most about working at Latham Ridge Elementary?

I absolutely love working at Latham Ridge! Our school community is rich with passionate educators who inspire me and offer thoughtful advice on a regular basis. Our students are eager to enter our school doors and their excitement leads to curiosity, which makes my job even more enjoyable. I am encouraged to be creative and use what I know about students to craft lessons that are truly engaging and rooted with a real-world purpose.

Why did you want to become a teacher?

I come from a long line of teachers, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. My grandma taught middle school social studies for 44 years, and both of my parents taught middle school P.E. for 30+ years. I’ve always felt drawn to helping others and when I started volunteering in classrooms, I knew I had found an outlet for my passion. The pace at which we make decisions, get to be creative, and see our work directly impact the future is something unmatched by any other profession.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is when I witness students owning the ideas that we talk about regularly. They start to solve their own problems; they take risks, they empower one another, and they’re excited to share connections and find answers to their questions. I enjoy setting the stage for their learning, but watching their ideas take off, is the magical part.

What are the top 3 items on your bucket list?

  • I would like to travel to see as many Wonders of the World, as I possibly can.
  • I would like to attend a future Summer Olympics. I would especially enjoy watching the swimming relays!
  • I want to write and publish a children’s picture book.

What would students be surprised to know about you?

My students are always surprised to learn that I can deadlift 400lbs. I have to show them a picture, otherwise they don’t believe me, but once they see it, I can tell they think I’m slightly cooler than they originally thought. I also enjoy when students, especially my girls, come in, proud, to tell me that they did push-ups or sit-ups at home.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love reading a good book; taking my dog, Chunk, to the park, and coaching CrossFit at my local gym.

What’s your favorite event that happens during the year and why?

Every year, my class helps me fulfill my “Birthday Acts of Kindness”. For each year I’ve been alive, we do one act of kindness. Although each act brings its own special enjoyment, some of my favorites include taking a field trip to read and play games with the elderly; collecting clothes, toys, and books to donate to those in need; and hosting a Veteran’s Day brunch, in honor of those who have served. It’s important to me that I teach my students how to be thoughtful citizens and show them how small acts can have a big impact on our world. We need our youth to know that what they do matters. Every year, I see students step up and contribute to causes that are bigger than themselves and their life at school, and it sparks this chain reaction of good deeds. Being kind is something we can all be great at. What I love most is being surprised and inspired by my students generosity and selflessness.