Rocketship Education has garnered national attention for its innovation in K-5 education. During its 10-year period, the charter school’s founder has revealed he has learned many lessons. They include lessons from successes in the school system as well as failures. Here are some of these lessons that were learned firsthand at Rocketship Education schools.
Involving the parents is just as important as having involved students and teachers at the school. Rocketship Education’s founder, Preston Smith found that student’s do much better in school when their parents are involved with the education. This includes having parents actively engage with teachers. Rocketship recently was in the limelight again for having parents sit in on interviews with prospective teachers for a new school in D.C. It is a system that is a hit with parents and seems to work well.
The real limelight of Rocketship Education stems from its personalized learning approach. Instead of focusing on conformity, Rocketship aims to teach students based on a personalized learning agenda. Smith says that personalized learning should begin at home. Teachers and staff from Rocketship schools now routinely visit children’s homes. This way, they get a better idea of what the interests of a child are and how they learn best. It is this approach that is shaking up the educational system across the country.
Another major lesson learned from Rocketship Education’s schools is that the diversity of teachers is just as important as student diversity. Yes, you want a diverse array of students to be able to attend your school. This is now possible with the end of segregation and vouchers. However, teacher diversity is something that needs to be fostered and encouraged. When students are exposed to diverse viewpoints and new ideas they are bound to thrive and grow. They also gain new insights into life that could have a tremendously positive effect on their lives.
Sam Preston launched Rocketship Education over a decade ago in San Jose. What started out as a small charter school, now has a national network of K-5 public charter schools that are changing education. Rocketship Education is also helping change the nation’s public-school systems to be more competitive so that low income students can have a shot at the American Dream.