Salt kills yeast, so try not to combine those two ingredients until the mixing stage. And if you're having trouble proofing the yeast in water, then use instant yeast, you don't need to proof that first, you can just add it as a dry ingredient.
If oven spring is the amount of rise that the dough experiences in the oven, then theres two reasons why it happens. First, the increasing temperature increases the rate of yeast fermentation in the dough, so the quality and liveliness of your yeast must be taken into account. I think that the other factor is the amount of water in your dough. When the dough heast up past the boiling point of water (225 Fahrenheit or 100 celsius), it will vaporize, turn into water vapor, and lift the dough a little.
So maybe good quality yeast, and a dough that isn't too dry will help you out the most. Maybe using bread flour will help more too, bread flour has more gluten, which is supposed to absorb more water.
I always use instant yeast unless i can't help it, and oven spring is never a problem.
Bread can sing. o.O