With a teaching career spanning 49 years, Joanne (Jo) Bowman has an exceptional amount of experience, knowledge and insight, and ORIGO Education is thrilled to announce her as the very well deserving Teacher of the Month for March 2021.
Jo has worked at Our Lady of Lourdes in Sunnybank Queensland for 32 years and currently teaches Year 3 but has experienced teaching a range of primary school year levels and subjects.
When asked about her career and how it evolved through the years, Jo said she used to “teach maths how she was taught” and that this all changed when she was introduced to ORIGO Education.
“Mathematics has always been one of my favourite subjects to teach, particularly in recent years when I discovered and began using ORIGO’s Go Maths/Stepping Stones.
“Go Maths /Stepping Stones changed my whole thinking about mathematics and how it needs to be presented to children. When I was a student, I was taught by rote and therefore I’ve always been determined to teach maths in a more thinking and reasoning way to my students. Being introduced to the ORIGO Education way allowed me to do this.”
And it wasn’t just Jo who experienced a change with Go Maths /Stepping Stones, her students did as well. The whole school taught the ORIGO program and this is vital to its success.
“There was a better understanding,” said Jo. “The grades went up and the program appealed to the children which allowed many more people to adopt a mathematical thinking approach.
“Before my experience with ORIGO, I believe that there was, and still is (for those who never experience Go Maths /Stepping Stones), a narrow group of people that consider themselves good at maths.
“But when I think about the students whom I taught with Go Maths/Stepping Stones compared to those I taught without it, that group of people grew much larger and became much more mathematically able.
“I could see a change in the students when I began teaching with Go Maths/Stepping Stones and I’ve even had great reports from students I have taught who went through high school saying how well they coped with high school maths and how their grounding in primary school with strategies and skills made this possible.
“It was a story I’ve heard over many years from students I’ve taught with Go Maths/Stepping Stones and as a teacher who cares about students, it makes me sad to think of the schools who aren’t using ORIGO’s products; because I’ve had the experience and the longevity in this profession and I know the other programs simply don’t compare.”
Jo’s dedication shines through when speaking about the students she’s taught over her incredibly impressive career and the most rewarding thing for her, she said, was making connections with the children and their parents.
“Understanding my students’ stories and knowing the person in front of me so I can help them and teach them in the best way possible is what makes it all worthwhile for me.
“If you don’t make connections, you don’t get the best out of them, so taking the time to get to know your students is the best tip I could give to any teacher starting out.”
ORIGO Education congratulates Jo on winning the Teacher of the Month for March 2021 and sincerely thanks her for her passion and dedication throughout her career, and unwavering support of ORIGO Education.
Starting in January 2021, ORIGO Education will recognize a teacher every month in our newsletter and website. The teacher selected will be recognized from the Stepping Stones Pre-K through Grade 6 family of educators. We are looking for educators to share a story, activity or tip that has made an impact in their classroom. Click here to learn more.