Art & Learning Support Teacher
Jo Logan is the Specialist Art teacher for Years 1-6 and Learning Support
1. What is your background?
My background is in secondary art teaching although I have been teaching primary art for many years.
2. What do you remember best about primary school?
Primary school memories – I remember having fun with my friends best, as well as learning about food from different countries by cooking different dishes and special excursions like camping overnight in the school grounds.
3. What teaching qualifications do you have?
I have a Diploma in Arts (Visual Communication), a Diploma in Education and a Certificate 3 in Children’s Services and am currently studying a Certificate IV in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
4. Where else have you worked and how has it shaped your general outlook and your approach to teaching children today?
I have worked in a few high schools in Victoria where I taught metalwork, ceramics, photography, graphics and visual art. In 2014 I took leave from BCPS and worked in a remote Indigenous school on Elcho Island in East Arnhem Land, NT. This really gave me an education in the differences in schools, communities, cultural expectations, student cohorts, availability of resources and literacy levels in different parts of the country. Despite all the differences I came to realise that my approach remains basically the same -know your students, keep it relevant and interesting and keep focussed on the educational outcomes of what you are teaching.
5. What are your main teaching and classroom philosophies?
I believe every child should have a positive learning experience and have equal opportunity to succeed in achieving the outcomes. Everyone’s differences need to be considered when planning and the structure and organization of a lesson is important for this to happen.
6. Why do you enjoy teaching at BCPS?
I am so lucky to work at BCPS where the creative arts are supported. I get to give the kids lots of opportunities to explore different media in art as well as to take them on excursions to galleries and exhibitions. The staff here are a great team and it is a place where you can build good relationships with kids, parents and staff.
7. What do you enjoy teaching the most?
I enjoy teaching all sorts of things in art but I do like teaching the students about clay as they have so much fun with it and it’s such a basic and enduring medium.
8. What is your greatest achievement?
Work wise, implementing a successful art program in Arnhem Land to non-English speaking indigenous students was quite an achievement for me, and one I felt proud of. In my personal life my greatest achievement is raising my 2 daughters who have grown up to be confident and independent adults.
9. What aspirations still lie ahead of you?
Much of my teaching career is behind me but still have lots of ideas I want to finish like producing art resources based on my classroom experiences of teaching art. I am also interested in developing my own creativity and making more art.
10. Do you teach any subjects other than your regular class?
As well as teaching art I am the Learning Support teacher so I assess basic reading and numeracy and teach reading, phonics, spelling and number concepts. I also write IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) for students with differing educational needs. The students I work with are referred to me by the class teacher and sometimes work with me individually or in small groups.
11. What occupies your time outside school hours?
I like to walk regularly, I enjoy being in nature, travelling, reading, sewing, drawing and being with friends and family.
12. If you weren’t a primary teacher, how do you think you’d be spending your days?
If I weren’t a primary teacher, I would be an artist, illustrator or photographer.