Tutoring our JumpStart tutors

Jabu Thomo tutors new JumpStart tutors
Jabu Thomo teaches our new tutors at Keketso Primary School in Vosloorus.

When JumpStart tutors faced the delayed return to school due to Covid-19 the team turned the disappointment into an exciting opportunity. The extra time was a bonus. We chose to tutor our tutors in an expanded way. Programme Director, Jabu Thomo, planned a series of workshops over four days at various venues suitable for socially distant learning. Some 82 interns were divided into small groups at Kumalo Primary School in Katlehong, at Keketso Primary School in Vosloorus, at the Boitjhorisong Resource Centre in Sasolburg, and at the JumpCo Labs in Northcliff, Johannesburg.

Tutor Training Opportunity

Each training day comprised of four 60 minutes sessions aimed at improving tutors’ understanding of the teaching modalities and responsibilities, their own professional preparedness, discussion of study and career opportunities, and motivational talks. The jam-packed programme included a raft of activities to encourage tutors to reach their full potential. We had offered some basic career guidance and psychometric testing. Tutors heard about the expectations, responsibilities, and opportunities available to them as JumpStart interns.

Online training to compliment in person sessions

JumpStart Tutors at work
Focus on learning! JumpStart Tutors get to grips with the task on the table.

“Additional online discussions equipped tutors with skills to help maintain their physical and mental health,” said Programme Manager, Jabu Thomo. “We discussed a wide range of topics, including how to manage time effectively. We also shared with them the possibilities available to them as they begin their journey to becoming teachers! As the 15 February arrived this week, we were ready and excited to be going back to school!”

This year JumpStart is thrilled to have sent 20 new tutors to an additional five schools in the Ekurhuleni South District. All in all, there are now 82 tutors working at 40 schools in Katlehong, Vosloorus, Johannesburg and Sasolburg. Their focus is on establishing excellent building blocks in the foundation phase, grades 1 to 3. Thomo continued, “By building a firm foundation we have seen our tutors giving learners a literal and figurative “jumpstart” which greatly improves all their learning outcomes throughout their schooling – additionally improving their chances of completing Grade 12.

A brand new JumpStart tutor shares her hopes

Palesa Motaung is a JumpStart tutor
Palesa Motaung is a new JumpStart tutor.

At the start of every training, we did an exercise where the tutors wrote out their expectations for the training. Palesa Motaung, 20, shared her feelings, expectations, and hopes with us:

I am so happy to be chosen for this internship, and am looking forward to giving it my all. Teaching is one of my career choices, therefore for me this is not just a job but part of my career. I’m happy to be given a chance to show and prove myself and improving underperforming classrooms into centres of maths excellence.

Writing exercises formed part of the tutor’s experience.

My expectation for today is to know more about JumpStart and what are the “do’s and don’ts” that are expected from me because mostly I know what’s expected from me but not what’s not expected. I want to know more. I want to gain more knowledge on different kinds of kids/learners as I will be facing different kinds. My hope is that my presence in the school will change.  Learners will gain more knowledge and maths will be improving in that school I am in. This will not only build and improve learners, but myself too. Hence I say that I will be able to know more about learners, teachers and how to react in different situations.

An experienced tutor reflected on the day

Boitumelo Molefe, 28, also shared her thoughts with us after her training at Sasolburg:

On the day of the orientation, I learned that no matter the weakness of my learners, as their teacher I must find a way to accommodate them. I learned that learners need to be persistent. The writing exercise also taught me that not all my learners will be right-handed, a teacher needs to make sure that even left-handed children are accommodated.

Boitumelo Molefe from Zamdela, Sasolburg, shares her insights on the training experience

From Miss Nobantu, I learned about Jumptrak login details and how to promote learners from one grade to another. I also know where to find stats. From Mr. Jabu, I learned about respecting teachers and making things work between me and them. He taught me about Covid-19 regulations and I learned that I will have to improvise, as learners will be on rotation.

From Miss Zintle, I learned how to use the Jumptrak App. From Miss Leizel I learned the importance of reading a contract before signing it. I learned that I must look professional at all times. I learned that communication is important. She also taught me that when I have problems to report it immediately.

Partner with us

The training of unemployed youth in service of mathematics excellence is made possible with corporate sponsors like Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Sasol, and our newest partner, Senator International, South Africa. Our tutors benefit from generous individuals who sponsor their studies or contribute to stipends. Would you like to be part of this vibrant team? We need people who can help us to transform South Africa’s underperforming classrooms!

Please email Betty Oliphant to find out how your contribution to JumpStart could help you meet your B-BBEE scorecard.

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