Joyce Phelan

Joyce Phelan

Currently, I teach high school mathematics at Dartmouth High School in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. It is a public, suburban, school system along the south coast of Massachusetts. I am teaching Algebra 1 for the 2017-18 academic year however, the course assignments tend to change from year to year. In the past, I have taught Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Statistics, and Financial Literacy. This is my 5th year teaching in a block schedule and I am excited that we are switching to a 6 (or 7) period schedule for the 2018-19 academic year. Prior to teaching in Dartmouth, I taught in public, independent, and Catholic schools in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

I have been teaching for 21 years and I am certified in and have taught the following subjects: Mathematics 5 – 12; Business 8 – 12; and Physical Education Pre-K – 12. I earned my undergraduate degree from Boston College (Go Eagles!) School of Management in Accounting and Computer Science and worked in hospital finance for 7 years before following my heart and going into teaching. I earned a Masters in Education from Springfield College (Go Chiefs!) in the Teaching and Administration of Physical Education. Since then, I have taken numerous courses at colleges and universities in NY and MA supporting my love (and license) of mathematics.

The past 3 years I have been working with Bootstrapworld.org incorporating Bootstrap Algebra into my teaching. Through my work and training with Bootstrap in my non-school time, I have become a Master Teacher within their organization and I train teachers from across the globe in the Bootstrap curriculum. I am incredibly excited about the recent Bootstrap Data Science release and look forward to incorporating it into my teaching this year.

My interests are as varied as my pathway to becoming a teacher. I love sports, music, and dogs, and I am developing a love of travel. I played college hockey at BC and was in the band program which meant I went to every football, basketball, and men’s hockey game I could. On the music front, I play or have played about a half dozen instruments and currently focus on percussion – nothing organized I just play for fun. While I no longer coach any sports, I have coached soccer, basketball, softball, women’s lacrosse, and men’s lacrosse. My most successful season in terms of records was making it to the final four in the woman’s independent school tournament while teaching at The Storm King School in New York. However, those that knew me at that same school think my best coaching was in softball that same year. We might have won 1 game, but I took a group of predominantly Korean girls who had never played any organized sport and taught them the game of softball. Their success was limited due to my limitations at cultivating a solid fast-pitch hurler, but we were otherwise very good at our skills. Still, it is hard to win at any level with poor pitching. The girls knew when we didn’t win, but they never stopped trying, learning, and singing – so I guess that’s the win after all.

My dogs are really my passion right now. I have 2 standard poodle brothers, literally, named Radar and Harley. We have become certified therapy dog teams and certified reading dog teams. I enjoy bringing them to places and organizations and sharing their unending love. We visit nursing homes, memory units, hospitals, and colleges. There is such a high need for dog visits that, if I could, I would just do that – but that is several years off – maybe when I retire from teaching 🙂 In the meantime, I am awaiting permission from my district’s administration to bring them into my classroom. I think with all of the student’s bad mojo surrounding their previous math courses a little poodle therapy would go a long way in creating a relaxed learning environment. The dogs and I continue to train on a variety of objectives as I want each of them to have total freedom from their leash so we continue to train towards that goal.