COLEMAN, Okla. (KTEN) -- Some people say, "when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life."

Coleman's Marilyn Goodwin epitomizes that phrase, beginning her 55th year of teaching.

Goodwin's career in education began as an elementary teacher for Oklahoma City Public Schools, before she returned to Coleman, her alma mater, in 1979.

"She's taught most of these kids. Most of their parents and knows a lot of their grandparents," principal Bubba Tamez said. 

Reading is the subject nearest to Goodwin's heart because it allows her to develop a special connection with her students.

"I want them to love reading. I want them to understand what they're reading," Goodwin said. "They've got to be able to read. You can't do anything if you can't read."

A special connection her former students, now co-workers remember.

"She was my teacher in third grade. She was the one that really helped me learn how to read," Tina Eldridge said. "She stays extra after school to help students. She comes here early to help students that want to come in."

The 'Teacher of the Year' awards stack up for Marilyn Goodwin, but she'd tell you that doesn't matter.

After all, her motivation is simple.

"When you love it, you want to do it, don't you? You keep doing it because you get to," she said.

Of all the changes in education Marilyn Goodwin has seen in 55 years, she says she is a fan of updated technology because it makes her job easier.