RICHMOND HILL, GA (WTOC) - Many people take different roads to find out what they want to do in this world.
One Bryan County educator thought she was going to make a name for herself in the banking world, but instead, wound up in the classroom. It's that investment in our children that has made her a WTOC Top Teacher.
For Christina Cheaves, becoming a math teacher wasn't her first choice.
"I went to college to go into finance because I was working at a bank at that time, but people needed help with math, and I thought, 'oh, I like this teaching thing too,' and I think this is the best decision I could have made because these children are going to grow up and change the world," the Richmond Hill Elementary School teacher said.
Cheaves has taught 2nd and 3rd-Grade math at Richmond Hill Elementary School for more than 20 years.
"I have taught in Richmond Hill every single day and I am proud to say that," she said.
Teaching has changed since Cheaves started, but she says it still comes down to the basic one-on-one relationship with a child.
"You need to find a connection with a child, you need to find out their background knowledge, where their issues are, and that's how you help them grow. So, when you find out personally what they need, you can take them many places," she said.
That personal touch adds up to better grades in the classroom.
"When they walk out of my room saying, "Miss Cheaves, thank you for teaching me,' or, 'can we do some more of this because I don't want to leave your classroom,' and I'm proud of that. I'm thankful I have a great group of kids to work with, Cheaves said.