Browse Category: Educators

Five Things the First Ten Years of Rocketship Education Taught its Co-Founder and Contemporary President, Preston Smith

Ten short years ago, Rocketship Education was founded in Redwood City, California, with its first location holding the relatively similar title of Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School. In July of 2007, the month RSED – short for Rocketship Education – was incorporated in the state of California, Preston Smith was appointed the Founding Principal, in addition to Regional Director. He held these positions for 23 and 31 months, respectively, before working as CAO – Chief Achievement Officer – for 40 months prior to naming himself Chief Executive Officer and President in February of 2013.

Today, RSED houses just short of an impressive 4,000 students across its eighteen locations: twelve spread throughout RSED’s home state of California; three in Nashville, Tennessee; two within the nation’s capital, Washington DC; and the most recent installment in the constantly-wintery community of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. RSED is arguably best-known for its pioneering in tech-heavy personalized education plans, helping it excel in the competitive field of education.

Having endured several hardships throughout his decade-plus of operating his now-successful educational creation, Smith was privy to innumerable lessons. Here are five of those lessons, of which he shared on The 74 Million’s website just a month-and-a-half ago, in August:

Parents are highly recommended to allow their child(ren)’s teacher to visit their home. Considering Rocketship Education is high on personalized learning, looking around one’s place of living helps teachers understand how skilled they are with technology, whether they’re actually struggling regarding material assigned to their individualized plans, and much more.

Further, parents interview incoming candidates. Sometimes such parents are brand new to the school, ranging to spending all six possible years with the institution (K-5).

Teachers are asked to be flexible in changing their presentation of material and homework assigned. As RSED is all about personalized learning, every voice matters exponentially more relative to other schools.

Another important parental involvement includes them being recommended to discontinue enrollment at any school if they’re not teaching their respective children well enough.

Lastly – surely not least important, that’s for sure – parents are encouraged to be proud of RSED’s incorporation as a public school.

The Many Lessons about Learning Rocketship Education Taught Preston Smith

Public education is important for all nations around the world, as countries with higher average educational attainment levels perform better in many categories of living. Preston Smith, a longtime educator with two degrees in education, realizes this, as well as the unfair reality that low-income places often have bad schools, leaving young people trapped in poverty for years to come.

Rocketship Education was founded by Preston Smith and John Danner in 2007 in Redwood City, California. Preston Smith has bene the president of the nonprofit group of public charter institutions for a number of years, including the CEO since February of 2013. Preston got the idea for Rocketship Education following a three-year stint at an elementary school in his hometown of San Jose, in which students didn’t understand most of what educational standards they were supposed to. Research has corroborated with his viewpoint, with UC Berkeley and Harvard claiming that the chances of poor people in San Jose of making it far in life have severely dwindled down. Throughout these tough ten years, Preston Smith learned a number of things about education, especially that of public charter schools. Let’s get crackin’.

With Rocketship being a leader in the innovation of personalized learning, it’s absolutely vital for teachers to get to know students on a personal level. As such, teachers are required to visit the homes of students once per annum. This should also happen with every other school, as it builds the bond between parents or guardians and the schools their kids attend.

Parents are inherently involved in the interview process. They’re trained to conduct thorough, pressing interviews designed to make the majority of applicants immediately realize how demanding teaching at Rocketship Education truly is. As such, this helps weed out many unqualified candidates, helping students get the highest-quality education possible.

Teachers should come from a variety of backgrounds that match that of Rocketship’s students. Many schools make the mistake of vying for diverse student bases, although this isn’t nearly as effective as finding diverse teachers first.

Finally, parents are reminded constantly to pressure their students’ educators to provide top-notch education. Schools that don’t should have students’ parents transfer them elsewhere, to better options.