Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blogging Challenge: My Mentor

Shopping Trip!
I have been blessed to have an AMAAAZING mentor right across the hallway from me. Her name is Danna Torrell and she is beautiful, sweet and happens to be the Literacy Queen. She is our Academic Specialist (sort of like the head literacy coach at our school). Also, she happens to be one of my nearest and dearest friends. 

Listen, Danna is amazing. As in, with her careful guidance, our 4th graders have consistently scored #1 in our district (out of 20) on the Writing STAAR (and before, TAKS) test. I can teach my kids writing and then they hear it from Ms. Torrell and it's like God himself spoke the words. Elliott students LOVE Danna. She is patient and genuinely cares about all of the 700+ students in our little school. 
This is us in Vegas with some other fabulous teacher friends.
And writing isn't her only specialty, she is an amazing reading teacher too! I wish I had known her when she was still in the classroom because I hear stories about how everyone in her class was always calm and quiet, writing poetry and discussing literature. And they were 3rd graders. I can't even imagine! 

Danna has taught me so much..not just about teaching or doing literature circles or analyzing data and tailoring instruction to student needs...Danna has taught me how to be positive and uplifting in the workplace (and in life!). I try to make my conversations with students more intentional and I love hearing Danna ask kids questions about things that matter. Anyway. I love my D! Danna, thank you for everything you have taught me and I value our friendship so much. Can't wait to face all the changes at Elliott this year because I know I have such a positive friend in a leadership role. DON'T EVER LEAVE US!! :) 

Link up to share about your mentors! 


  1. Wow! I want a Vegas trip with my teacher friends. You girls are awesome. Great post!

  2. Two questions: Can you imagine what your teaching would be like if you hadn't had a mentor? What can you do to pay it forward?

  3. I love how supportive this is! As teachers we tend to be a generous and supportive group! I love that! Teaching Science With Lynda

  4. Caitlin - thank you for the great tribute to my daughter. Makes a mom and dad proud. In case you didn't know, Danna thinks you are awesome to say the least. Was so glad to see you last May and hope to see you soon! Susan