Tisha Dorn
Southwest Schools

Mentoring: Making Magic Happen

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life” -Denzel Washington.

Why mentor? There is nothing like the gratification one receives from helping others. No matter if it is a student or an adult, the smile that comes across their face when they “get it” or learn a new way of approaching a subject, is priceless. I enjoy being a part of this process, in fact, it is my passion. Growing others, helps grow you, and your students reap the benefits.

I have had several mentors in my life, my beautiful Mother, Grandmother, Aunts, Pastor, and teachers and coaches while growing up. As an adult, and teacher myself, it was my Instructional Coach, Shontoria Walker who made the biggest impact on my growth as a teacher. She allowed me to be authentically myself while coaching me into new concepts and teaching methods. She accomplished this balancing act by stretching my own thinking, supporting me through my struggles and guiding me to find my own solutions. Just like we as teachers should do our students. I remember her telling me, “Students don’t rise to low expectations.” Although this is a simple truth, it resonated so profoundly in me. I stopped thinking about what my students, all my students, could not do and the failure they may encounter and started thinking of how far I could push their learning and supporting them when they fell short. Then something amazing happened… they grew, profoundly!
This is the kind of mentor I strive to be.

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