WAYNESBORO, Ga (WJBF) – Lots of elementary school teachers will tell you that 3rd grade is a great year. Barbara Weddon knows that the students are leaving one phase and entering another.

“I think the kids are old enough to have a little independence,” Weddon says. ” But yet still young enough that you can make a really good impression on them.”

Ms. Weddon used to be in the pest control business. But then she felt the calling to teach later in life. She also has strong personal reasons for being in this Blakeney Elementary Special Education classroom.

“I have a nephew that was disabled. And my grandson who we lost to cancer, was autistic. So I’ve had a lot of dealings with different children with disabilities. I just think that they can learn, you just have to figure out which way they can learn.”

She sees progress, not in A’s and B’s, but in life moments.

“This year I have a little boy who makes me want to cry every time he comes to my room. Because when he first came to me he was really struggling, to read. And today as a matter of fact, he came to my desk with a book and was able to read it independently.”

And whether the students are special needs or not, every child needs a strong support system at home.

“I think we have some amazing parents. I think one way they can help us do our job better is just to allow them to read at home. In order to do anything a child has to be able to read.”
Barbara Weddon and the amazing team at Blakeney make sure that students here get every opportunity to have an amazing life.

“I absolutely love what I do,” she says. ” To say it’s not a challenge would be a lie, because every day is a different challenge. But I still want to come back and teach them every single day. I want to see them grow. It makes my heart grow.”