Fresh out of college and straight into teaching

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Photo by Abril Salinas

By: Abril Salinas, Reporter


Jay Bodine is a new teacher in every sense of the word, he’s fresh out of college and is starting his first year of teaching here at Kaneland.

Bodine is in the Special Ed department and co-teaches a couple of English classes. His interest in teaching started in elementary school and is something he has always seen himself doing. Growing up, Bodine was surrounded by teachers. His dad taught for forty-five years and his mom was certified in education.

Special Ed appealed to him because helping people is something he’s extremely passionate about. He also volunteered at the Opportunity House, a rehabilitation center that helps people with disabilities, in Sycamore and babysat a student with autism for a couple of years.

“Favorite memory while watching the student with autism would be hearing him laugh, playing outside with him (riding bikes, football, baseball, skateboarding). The kid loved being active,” Bodine said.

His students’ success matters to him; it motivates him to become a better teacher. The thought of them failing also plays a big part in motivating him.

“What I try to have, what I care about is a positive classroom environment. I try to get to know my students,” Bodine said.

Bodine attended Northern Illinois University and during clinical he taught elementary and middle schoolers. He likes teaching high schoolers because he feels they are more mature and you can interact with them more.  

“After high school the real world is the next step, and I want to help prepare them for that,” Bodine said.

Bodine has student taught here at Kaneland and says the school is a very caring and passionate place that he’s only heard great things about. The job does not come without surprises though. For Bodine, teaching is very different from what he expected.

“As a teacher you have to have many roles, it’s a lot more work than I expected. I didn’t expect how friendly the students would be. Majority of kids in the building are very respectful. I am also very supported here at Kaneland and can go to anyone for support or guidance,” Bodine said.