It was quite the surprise when we popped into Tonya Smith's class in Savannah. She teaches business and computer science at Hubert Middle School.
“I want them to be ready when they graduate high school. I want them to be ready for the workforce because it's hard out here,” Smith said.
Smith was born and raised in Savannah, graduating from Savannah State University. She says she wants kids to believe they can do anything.
“I want to make sure they know how to respect themselves, respect other people, have a positive attitude and achieve anything,” Smith said.
Students say their teacher always makes time to help them.
“Every day when we came to class, she made sure we had all our stuff took all the time she needed to help us,” said Kimaura Williams, a student. “No matter what she will always be right there.”
“Sometimes you, come in and think you can change the kids, but build a relationship with them and you will be able to teach them,” Smith said.
Smith wanted to own her own business when she was younger but now has found her true calling.
“This is it, this is it because I'm not just teaching, math or computers, something that I believe in. Something that opened my eyes, something that got me out,” she said. “But it starts with respect and responsibility and discipline. and with that, you can do anything.”
Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.