Preston Smith, the co-founder and present CEO of Rocketship Education, has picked up a number of tidbits of pedagogical theory and application in its first ten years of operation. He’s shared several of them with the United States of America, all of which can be intertwined into educators’ efforts.
Teachers are hired to match the diverse backgrounds of Rocketship Education’s facilities, not the other way around. Although it’s great for schools – or any organization, for that matter – to feature diverse groups of employees and associates – students, in Rocketship’s case – Rocketship Education aims to hire teachers from diverse backgrounds before even thinking about diversifying students’ demographics.
Teachers should also visit the homes of students once a year. As Rocketship Education is heavy on individualized learning, it’s beneficial for teachers’ personalized lesson plans to visit their living spaces.
Parents submit regular evaluations of teachers, based on the information their children share with them. Kids tell their parents many things that teachers, administrators, and fellow students aren’t privy to, marking the need for parent feedback.
One of the most unique aspects of Rocketship Education is its reliance on involving parents into their administrative functions. Most schools ignore the power of parents, thinking that only people formally trained in education can provide meaningful input to their systems. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, as teachers are screened very well, to the point where many show their disinterest right off the proverbial bat during interviews, helping Rocketship Education’s facilities find the best teachers for the job.
Rocketship Education is also known for implementing personalized learning through technology, dating back to its very first year of operation in a San Jose church in 2007. Co-founder John Danner helped create applications, programs, and softwares for involving technology in individualized lessons. The combination of traditional classroom lectures in which all students are involved, alongside the segregation of students’ learning efforts in the small amount of time allotted towards individualized education, has helped boost students’ test scores higher than a majority of low-income scores across the neighborhoods that Rocketship Education’s locations are found.