Rocketship Education was created by Preston Smith and John Danner in 2007. This nexus of public charter schools is unique in several ways. Rocketship has 18 locations across the United States, from California to the District of Columbia to Wisconsin and back, whereas most schools are in a centralized location, or at least in the same state – or, considerably rarely – across a region of the USA, like the Southeast or Midwest. Preston Smith’s schools are charter schools, meaning they can accept investments from private parties, in addition to grants from governments. Lastly, each of its 18 facilities regularly score exceptionally high on standardized tests from state and federal governments, despite being suited in neighborhoods that are economically disadvantaged.
CEO Preston Smith has picked up a number of morals and values from experiential learning in managing Rocketship Education. Here are just a few of them – teachers, feel free to apply them in your pedagogical efforts.
Teachers and students alike benefit from having annual home visits by teachers to students’ living spaces. Some children are only children, in calm, quiet houses and respective neighborhoods, with well-educated parents. Conversely, some are entirely disadvantaged, with poor living conditions, parents that aren’t smart nor educated, with few places to study with unbroken concentration.
Because Rocketship Education is a pioneer in integrating individualized learning plans through technological devices and programs, understanding how students live is of utmost importance in planning IEPs (individualized educational plans), helping teachers perform their duties more easily, and students learn everything they’re supposed to.
Rocketship Education’s administrators solicit the opinions of parents about their children’s teachers. Kids won’t – it’s not polite to say many things in class, especially elated to criticism – say everything that’s on their minds in classroom settings. Parents, however, are outlets for children to voice their opinions about what’s going on at school. As such, asking parents about what they think of their children’s teachers is effective in getting quality feedback for teachers to improve.
Parents are even asked to help in the interview process, as parents know nearly exactly what their kids look for in instructors.