Greg Joy, 7th Grade Math Teacher at Discovery Middle School in Vancouver, Washington
Nominated by Erin Goode on behalf of Discovery Students (student):
"Mr. Joy makes math the most enjoyable subject in school. He loves his job and is very dedicated. He has worked at Discovery for 20 years and counting. He is also a basketball coach and loves it. Also Mr. Joy is the nicest math teacher ever. Mr. Joy explains the math super well so we understand it. He gets everyone involved in the activities. He gives all the tools we need to be successful."
Congrats, Greg, from all of us at K103! Get to know Greg Joy:
What inspired you to become an educator?
I actually went to Washington State University to become an electrical engineer. I also considered becoming a dentist or a physical therapist. In my junior year I took a water safety class and spent the summer working as lifeguard and swim instructor. I enjoyed working with kids so much that I returned to campus my senior year to try an education course. That is when I discovered my passion for teaching.
What do you like most about teaching?
This is my 28th year teaching middle school students. It is such a privilege to speak into their lives each day. Teenagers are sponges for learning, full of energy, and are going through some amazing changes physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. Their laughter, determination and curiosity brings me joy.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
The use of technology to impact instruction and learning has been a game changer. Our middle school students have iPads that travel home with them. Students can communicate with me about their learning beyond the classroom. We also use a variety of apps each day to deliver instruction and encourage students to excel at their own pace. However, technology will never replace the relationships, inspiration and rigor that teachers offer their students every day.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
Your students’ learning and well-being is of utmost importance to us. We intentionally design instruction & learning activities that will create a classroom culture where each student can belong, believe, and becomes their best.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
I had a number of coaches and teachers who were great motivators in my life. I try to be the same for my students. A past student recently reached out to me and said the phrase, “start strong and finish strong,” had stuck with her. She now finds herself saying the same thing to her son as he heads off to school each day. This reminds me that our words and attitudes are caught not just taught!