Golden Apple: Latoya McGriff

Golden Apple

ALLENDALE, S.C. (WJBF) Latoya McGriff didn’t always know she’d be in this classroom. Instead of teaching these children, she could have helped deliver them.
“At first I started off wanting to be a neonatal nurse,” McGriff says. “I was praying to God, asking Him for my purpose, because nursing classes are hard. So if that’s not what You want me to do, I don’t want to have to go through all that. At the time I was working at Belk, I was working at the Clinique counter. This lady came in and I did her makeup. Long story short, her son ended up telling me that I was supposed to be a teacher.”
So she changed her major and the rest is history. Her kindergartners at Warrenville Elementary reap the benefits of her decision every day.

“I try to make it so fun for them. I like to find out what they’re interested in. They really love unicorns, so that’s what I’m known as, the unicorn teacher. I do a story time live on my Facebook and I dress up in my unicorn pajamas and my kids tune in and I read them bedtime stories every Tuesday night.”
Ms. McGriff is still recovering from a horrible car accident 3 years ago. An accident that she says improved her approach to her job.
“Every morning I wake up and I think how can I be a better teacher than the day before. I know what it’s like to be taught something one day, and not remember the next. With my car accident, I had trauma on the brain. My memory, it’s been taking me a while to get my memory back. When I ask my kids to do something and they give me this look, it’s like, maybe they really don’t remember because I’ve been where they are now.”
And she’ll continue to be there for them. Working hard to give these children her all.
“I have to make sure I’m doing my best to reach all of my kids,” she says. “That’s a lot of pressure. But I teach my kids that we can defeat challenges. And that’s what I have to do with them. When I’m feeling the pressure, I just kind of figure out another way or I seek another source and get help so that I can help my kids and make sure I’m giving them my all.”

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