Top Teacher of 2020 as Nominated through Delaware Today

A very special congratulations to Bonnie Hodges for being named one of Delaware’s Top Teachers of 2020 by Delaware Today. Ms. Hodges! You can read more from her interview with Delaware today by following this link.

“In her 33 years at Centreville Layton School, Bonnie Hodges has worked with elementary school students who learn in a variety of ways, but they’ve all taught her the same thing. “If we listen, they tell us how they need to be taught,” Hodges says. “We know the skills they need to master, but how we get there is dependent on the student. You have to be forward-thinking and embrace change.”

That mindset made transitioning to Zoom virtual learning easier for Hodges and her students. “Some teachers make one lesson plan for 20 years, but I make a different plan every year,” she says. “This year, that certainly came in handy.”

Hodges stuck to as many of her pre-COVID teaching methods as possible, like printing worksheets and sending them to students’ homes. Hodges also kept to her reward system, a yearlong program in which students accrued points in the form of pom-poms or tokens. At the end of the year, Hodges gave students two ways to redeem their rewards: Amazon prizes or Hershey Park gift certificates. “They had to work as a group to decide and tell me their decision at the end of the week,” Hodges says. “Learning is supposed to be its own reward, but a little incentive helps—especially this year.”

Favorite new teaching tools: Zoom, Google Meets, Flash Math, “and learning what my phone could do.”

What she misses most about in-person teaching: “Being the cheerleader. Even though I saw my students on screens, the interaction wasn’t there.”