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Unsung teacher of the bus barn: Jocelyn Dolan

Psychology+teacher+Jocelyn+Dolan+radiates+with+happiness+in+her+classroom+in+the+bus+barn.
Psychology teacher Jocelyn Dolan radiates with happiness in her classroom in the bus barn.

Psychology teacher Jocelyn Dolan radiates with happiness in her classroom in the bus barn.

Elizabeth Jocque

Elizabeth Jocque

Psychology teacher Jocelyn Dolan radiates with happiness in her classroom in the bus barn.

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Teachers play a huge role in a child’s growth and development and for some teachers it’s more than just teaching a subject. Psychology teacher Jocelyn Dolan is known as a lively, happy teacher who genuinely cares for her students. While teaching has become her what she loves, Dolan didn’t always know that her passion was in teaching. She received her initial degree in Psychology and minor in English at Western Oregon University.

“In order to make [Psychology] my major, I just began to see how it applied to everything that was around me and that I was doing,” Dolan said. “I liked studying it because it gave me a better understand of myself.”

She did work in the psychology field as well as banking in her early years. She was invited by a friend to come and speak to his health class and that’s where everything changed.

“It was the most fun I had probably since I left college in any job that I had,” Dolan said. “I remember coming home to my dad and saying ‘Hey, guess what? I think i’m going to go back to school and become a teacher.’”

Her career took a sudden shift and she realized that the classroom was the place that she was meant to be. She got her masters in education at Oregon State University. Since then, she has taught for a total of 18 years. She began teaching Freshman English and later got into teaching Psychology.

But to Dolan, there was more to teaching than just the content. To her, connecting with the students was what made her job worth it all.

“Regardless of what I teach, I think the best part of my job by far is getting to connect with kids,” Dolan said, “and hopefully help them in some way.”

To Dolan, the students are her main priority. While she loves what she does, she ultimately does it for the students to help them better their futures.

“It’s so cool to be apart of students lives and I don’t think they realize that,” Dolan said. “It’s cool watching them grow up.”

She worked with a man named Pat Wolf years ago who taught her what became known as the best piece of teaching advice she had ever received: “lets just make someone’s day.” Dolan makes sure to do just that. Whether a student is having a rough day or missing assignments, Dolan tries to be someone that can be there for her students and make them smile.

Since Dolan had began teaching english, she had seen a change in attitude from the students when she began teaching psychology. It was no longer that students had to be there, but they wanted to be there.

“It’s way easier to teach an elective class. I’ve got kids who want to learn what I’m talking about,” Dolan said, “In english, you have students that have to take that class. So the motivation there was way different.”

When she began teaching english back at the beginning of her time at Perry, she resided in the C-building. She later then moved to the bus barn. The bus barn added to her teaching experience as well as the student’s.

“I loved getting to know the people out here that I was teaching with. There’s six of us,” Dolan said, “We’re a close little bunch. It’s also cool to get to know some of the bus drivers and hear about their life experiences.”

Dolan has helped change the lives of individuals as a teacher, and has become a friend to many.

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The student voice of Perry High School
Unsung teacher of the bus barn: Jocelyn Dolan