WAYNESBORO, GA (WJBF) – Melissa Bodiford gets to witness a ton of progress during her time with her kindergartners.

“We learn to spell words and write words and sound out words, blend words together,” Bodiford says. “By the end of the year, they’re reading and writing. It’s amazing.”

And she’s been experiencing those amazing moments for 23 years now.

“I loved my kindergarten teacher. She was here in Burke County. Ever since then I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. And I love it. It’s just an amazing job. These children are wonderful.”

The kids get her motivated. They make every one of her school days, special.

“Every day morning wake up and I’m just excited about the adventures we have every day. They just come to school. Some of them have tough backgrounds. They just fill my cup. I just love being with them and learning with them and just making a difference in their lives.”

As much as she’s accomplished in her career, Melissa Bodiford knows she could never do this alone. She leans on the team at Waynesboro Primary and she depends on parents to help her do this job.

“Read to them every night. Make sure you read to them. Sit in bed and read a book. Love your children. Expect great things from them, but also help them understand they do make mistakes,” she says.
“And just encourage them. We all need that in this world today. Just need somebody to love us and encourage us.”