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Finding joy in your work featuring Dr. Joy

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Hello friends, and welcome to another episode of the EduMagic podcast. My name is Dr. Sam Fecich, and I am so excited today to have Dr. Joy with me. You may have seen her work on Twitter. She is an amazing educator who will share the power of owning your joy.



Tell us about your teaching story, where your journey has led you and where you where you are today in education?

As a student, I have always had a passion for learning and enjoyed every aspect of school. However, when I became a playground instructor in high school, I discovered my love for teaching. I worked with children from various neighborhoods and spent entire days with them during the summer, almost like a camp. We taught them dances, organized a big fair at the end, and even conducted lessons with them. It was a wonderful experience that I cherish.


Now Doctor Joy, I know there's a story behind your name, so I'd love for you to first share the story behind doctor Joy and the story behind why. Why did you choose the word joy?

After leaving the classroom, I moved into a professional learning specialist role. During this transition, I realized that schools need to prioritize joy. Seeing schools from an outsider's perspective allowed me to understand this even more. I also recognized that the idea of joy connected with the nickname my parents gave me, and I have always felt empowered by joy in both my personal and professional life.


I admire how you have embraced the nickname your father gave you at a young age and integrated joy into your career. Your story is truly inspiring, especially for future teachers like yourselves, who are currently pursuing their college careers.After leaving the classroom, I moved into a professional learning specialist role. During this transition, I realized that schools need to prioritize joy. Seeing schools from an outsider's perspective allowed me to understand this even more. I also recognized that the idea of joy connected with the nickname my parents gave me, and I have always felt empowered by joy in both my personal and professional life.


Why is it important for our future teachers who are listening today?

I understand that you may be facing a lot of challenges right now. As someone who has worked as an educator, I can relate to the difficulties of balancing personal and professional life while building relationships and achieving daily goals. It's important to acknowledge these challenges and find healthy ways to confront them. Throughout my career, I learned that fixing external factors would not necessarily bring me happiness. Instead, I realized that I needed to take responsibility for my own joy, regardless of my accomplishments.


Doctor Joy how can we work to capture that joy to find that within ourselves?

Recently, I came across the broaden and build theory. It suggests that by practicing different tools and routines, we can become more resilient and respond positively to challenges. It may not always feel comfortable at first, but intentionally putting things into practice can make a big difference. As we work at it, we start to naturally develop a new perspective and virtues that add to our joy.


As an educator, self-care can be challenging, especially when the organization's practices conflict with our needs. However, it's important not to forget ourselves. Even taking a simple 30-minute lunch break alone in our classroom can help us get through the day. Sometimes, we can't just go with the flow and need to prioritize our self-care.

I'd love for you to take some time to share about the work that you're doing. You have a podcast; you have other work out there. Can you share about your work and where we can find it?

Currently, my goal is to establish a community that is full of happiness and positivity. I envision a group of educators who can support each other in promoting joy in their profession.


If you're interested in joining this community, please check out my website https://drjoyblog.com/ for various ways to get involved. You can also find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joywor edu.


In addition, I recently published a children's book titled "Back to Zero" that explores how we face challenges and the relationship between joy and adversity.

I also collect stories from educators that highlight the significance of joy in their work and the valuable lessons they've learned.

What's one piece of advice that you have for future teachers as they start to look for their joy or just in general?

I emphasize the importance of creativity and self-care routines that work well with your life. This is the most important thing for you to learn as an educator. Many people may say, "This is the way it's done," but don't be afraid to build yourself as an educator. You want to have a long and fulfilling career with many opportunities. Each year will bring different experiences, so it's up to you to create your path. There's no right way to do this; we're always learning as educators, so keep learning and finding ways to grow. Remember always to be yourself and bring your unique perspective to the classroom. Children need teachers who love what they do, so make sure to love what you do.

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