Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Simple & chic is her style

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SHE KNEW SHE ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher and numbers were her strong point so she put one and one together and decided to be a maths teacher.

Latoya Watkins has been teaching that subject at Harrison College for the past two years.

The past student of St Christopher’s Girls’ School (now St Christopher Primary School), The Lodge School and then the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus (Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics) in 2012, grew up in Hopewell, Christ Church.

“Numbers were always my strong point and I knew that from a very early age so, teaching the subject I loved most was my choice. I sent out CVs to various schools when I graduated from UWI, and was lucky enough to obtain a position at Harrison College. I will always be grateful to Mrs Wendy Clarke; she taught me in primary school. She was an inspiration to me. I loved her and wanted to be like her, hence my career path. She is a wonderful woman.”

As a teacher each day is not the same and for her the hardest part of the job is “seeing potential in students that they do not see in themselves. It’s not easy trying to convince a student that a topic is not beyond their capability. To conquer mathematics it takes practice; the teacher does her/his part and then students are expected to do their part as well in order to reach that ultimate goal of success.”

Latoya says she happiest when she sees the faces of her students after they have successfully overcome a topic that they initially thought was beyond their intellect.

“Hearing them say ‘Thank you, ma’am’ in that tone of excitement – it’s a special kind of feeling. To teach is to touch lives forever. In order to be effective in the classroom, I must be able to explain a topic using more than one kind of example. I try to link the use of mathematics with modern-day situations, giving students a clearer picture of why things are done the way they are done.”

Latoya says her mother has instilled many values in her but “respect for self, is my most valued characteristic”.

So much so that she is looking forward to her “charges” success when they leave school.

“I cannot wait to see them become young women and young men, progressive and making a positive mark in society. I will be able secretly say to myself “I am a part of that growth”.

Latoya was the winner of The Nation Publishing’s Look Of The Year competition that ended last December.

As part of her winning prize, Easy magazine decided to give her a makeover and a fashion spread. Here are her answers to the fashion questions:

How would you define your personal style?

Simple and chic

Do you find that you follow fashion trends or do you play by your own rules?

I play with my own ideas mostly. Every trend that pops up does not suit every body type, and nothing is wrong with daring to be different.

Has your fashion sense changed over the years or has it remained the same?

Of course, it has. If chosen correctly, clothes accentuate our personality and as I have grown as an individual, so has my sense of style and fashion.

Are there any colours that you tend to shy away from, and if so why?

Nude and cream. These two colours do not work well with my complexion.

As a child were you always into clothes or did you grow into your own fashion sense?

I have always been interested in clothes and fashions. Always going through magazines and always watching fashion shows.

How does your day-to-day life factor into your wardrobe choices?

There is obviously a general theme of modesty I must adhere to for my line of work, but this does not restrict me from being playful in my choices. This is especially the case with my accessories. The right choice in jewellery or bags and shoes can really make a difference.

Favourite splurge

Shopping!!!

How high are your highest heels?

Six inches. Any higher and I would be walking like a newborn calf.

Do you have a regular skin care routine? What products do you use on your own skin?

I dabble with many different products in terms of skin care but I would advocate moisturising the skin. In terms of make-up, I use BlackUp cosmetics.

Fashion staple?

A smile (laughing). However, shift dresses have become one of my favourite items of clothing.

If you could choose one colour that should be in every wardrobe, what would it be and why?

Black! It’s classic and it goes with anything.

What are five things that every woman should have in her closet?

A black dress

A necklace (an outstanding piece)

A pair of black heels

A nice pair of neutral sandals

A good pair of fitted jeans.

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