Elisha Bonnis

TEACHER, VANCOUVER

My experiences with JUMP have been transformative, for my students and for myself. I struggled greatly as a student myself from a very early age; there were many times I was told that I was just not a math person, that I would never get it, that I just was not trying hard enough.

As a post-secondary student in the education program at UBC, I was again haunted by my deep and abiding hatred for and terror of math. I would study three hours each night, crying most of the time. I did pass, but once I became a teacher, in the first half of my career, , I continued to feel totally inadequate when it came to teaching math, as if I were faking it. I just followed the text book verbatim; I now know what a disservice I was doing my students. Things got more frustrating when “new” math text books came out, heavily language-based and asking students to solve problems in complicated ways without the tools or skills needed. My struggling students were now drowning, and even my stronger students seemed confused and frustrated. ESL students, who had typically been successful in math, were now profoundly hindered by the language.

I began supplementing with JUMP, and in no time saw how my students were responding – with enthusiasm and excitement over their success. I soon started using JUMP as my core program. As my students began to experience more and more success, their confidence and motivation greatly increased. As a class, our growth was inspiring, and I have found this to be the case each year since. Students who enter my class saying “I hate math” or “I can’t do math,” are, within a short time, talking about how much they love math, and how good they are at it!

My own confidence as a math teacher also grew each day. I am now the math mentor at my school, and I am halfway through my Masters of Math Education at UBC. The irony of this is not lost on me. JUMP Math has given me the motivation, skills, knowledge and confidence to pursue math at a higher level than I ever dreamed I could – or dreamed I would want to. I am having the time of my life, and my marks range from A- to A+.

Courtesy of: JUMP Math

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