Teachers give JumpStart top marks

At the end of every school year, when teachers have graded all the learners in their care, a group of Ekurhuleni South and Sasolburg teachers have one final report to write… That’s when all in JumpStart’s management team sit up straighter, awaiting their own report card!

Project Director, Jabu Thomo, explains: “We administer a confidential survey with a representative sample of teachers at schools running our programme. In October 2019 we sampled 32 schools and received a total of 142 encouraging responses. We value this opportunity to see how JumpStart is doing so that we can continue to fulfil our mandate.”

The survey measured teacher satisfaction and the impact of the programme. Additionally, it investigated the effectiveness of NumberSense workbooks and our interns, as well as teacher training, and where applicable, digital workbooks.

The key findings from the 2019 survey were:

  • Satisfaction with the NumberSense workbooks is especially high, followed by satisfaction with the performance of interns.
  • The perceived impact tends to be higher in schools that have partnered with JumpStart for two or more years, than in those that are relatively new to the programme.
  • Teachers report that JumpStart enables them to give greater individual attention to learners, which is a one of our primary aims.
  • Learners display higher interest in mathematics, improved confidence, and greater concentration levels because the NumberSense activities are interesting.
  • Interns are always willing to help.
  • Bottle tops, counters and number charts are very effective teaching aids.
  • Daily monitoring by interns ensures that struggling learners receive immediate attention.
  • High performing learners can self-pace to more advanced maths activities.

A common thread was teachers expressing a need for more time in the school timetable for NumberSense, as well as needing additional practical aids like counting kits and abacuses.

An enthusiastic Sasolburg teacher said, “Our Jumpstart Teacher Assistant is so helpful and she's always available to assist the learners. Their mathematics marks increased through her encouragement in my classroom. The workbooks cover important concepts and the activities are relevant for learners.”

An Ekurhuleni South teacher summed it up, saying, “The NumberSense workbooks are excellent. They are designed to grow learners’ numeric sense. They are on the learners’ level and help them think critically. The teacher assistant helps all the learners, but especially those who struggle. The programme has made a huge improvement in learner mathematics.”

“JumpStart welcomes and values this feedback,” said Callen Hodgskiss, General Manager, “Monitoring and evaluation is key to our goal of transforming underperforming classrooms into centres of mathematical competence, so we always value hearing how learners are faring and what this means to teachers. We need to know how mentoring and teacher support are touching lives in the classroom.”

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