Erin Bodley was nominated by her friend, Kelsey Reilly.
Ms. Bodley has always had a passion for education. She earned her degree in Elementary Education at Westfield State University with a concentration in reading, as well as a secondary degree in Liberal Studies. Over the years, she gained experience by counseling campers, substitute teaching, student teaching, and eventually blossoming into a full-time teacher with her very own classroom. Although this is only her first year in the classroom, she has gained so much confidence that it seems like she has been teaching for years.
"Ms. Bodley is one of those people who was born to be a teacher. She is the kindest, most patient person I have ever met, and that is no exaggeration," said Reilly. "Having known Erin most of my life, I knew she was someone that would always be in my life. We first met as teammates on our town soccer league, remained friends throughout high school, and locked in our forever friendship as college roommates for all four years."
As a millennial educator, Ms. Bodley has incorporated new techniques into her classroom and sought advice from veteran teachers. Her creative approach and unique teaching style makes learning fun for all students. Ms. Bodley has always been someone who lends a helping hand to those in need.
"I always knew Erin was going to make a great teacher because she always knows how to help those in need. Whenever I was struggling with an assignment, Erin would always jump in to offer assistance," said Reilly. "Even after multiple different explanations and I still didn’t understand, she would never get frustrated or impatient. She simply just tried a new approach. These are the qualities that make up an outstanding educator, and that is exactly what she is."
When Ms. Bodley speaks about her students, she is always overwhelmed with joy and compassion. Her calm demeanor and individualized attention makes all students feel comfortable, and her patience is unmatched. She gives everything she has to those around her, even when she is spread so thin. Ms. Bodley is an educator who understands that everyone learns at a different pace, which is why she tailors her lesson plans accordingly.
"Erin has taught me a lot over our years of friendship; how to have a healthy debate, how to be yourself no matter what, and most importantly, how to be a better person," said Reilly. "Her students are extremely lucky to explore fourth grade with a one-of-a-kind teacher like her. As a life-long learner, Erin will continue to grow as an educator and light up the world with her smile."