Launch physical fitness teacher Chris Bodoin, who attended 45 schools before his own high school graduation, shares how his journey helped him develop a passion for helping students.
This is my tenth year as a teacher. I taught at Springfield Public Schools my first five years—I taught a variety of elementary PE settings, and then I coached football and basketball. I was at Reeds Spring the following four years, and this is my first year in Ozark.
I was born in Orlando, Florida, and I mostly grew up in Florida. I actually spent most of my life homeless, so I moved around a lot. I attended 45 different schools before high school graduation. We moved to Springfield when I was in eighth grade, and Springfield was the most consistent place I lived, but even through that there were a lot of times that I was considered ‘homeless.’ If I had a program like this—like Launch—and I could have worked online, it would have helped me a lot.
I obviously had a lot of people who influenced me and a lot of people who guided me along the way, and that’s why I got into education today, because I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without so many of those people who helped me along. I’m definitely the first person in my family to have a degree—to have earned a higher education. I helped break the cycle in my family, and my kids will be in a much different situation.
It was after my freshman year in college that I decided I also wanted to be able to help kids. There were so many coaches who used to pick me up, growing up. They’d bring me to school or take me home after practice, things like that. I realized really quickly that I wouldn’t be where I am today without a lot of those people who went above and beyond to help me, and that’s when I decided ‘Okay, I want to help as many people as possible.’
I love teaching middle school students. I love the middle school age, because I feel like students are at a point in their lives where they’re either going to go left or right. You can really touch and influence kids at this age and try to help guide them on to the right path. This is still doable in our online setting, and that’s what I strive to do.
One of the greatest things about Launch is having the flexibility to meet the needs of all types of students. As a teacher, you can kind of personalize your Launch course and tailor it to the student’s needs. It’s powerful to be able to meet the needs of all these different types of students from all over the state, and even personalize it all. I think that’s my favorite thing about teaching for Launch, because it’s really important to me that I build relationships with my students.
Home District: Ozark R-VI
Years as a Teacher: 10
Degree: Bachelor’s degree in physical education, Evangel University; master’s degree in education, Southwest Baptist University
Favorite Subject: Physical Education. It’s important to teach students the benefits of staying active, learning healthy habits, weight lighting and living healthy lifestyles.
Fun Fact: After graduating college, I signed a contract to play professional football in Finland for the European Football League.