Rocketship Education and the Things Preston Smith Learned from Its First Ten Years

More than ten years ago, the experimental public charter school Rocketship Education was created in Redwood City, California, by John Danner and Preston Smith. John Danner is great with technological devices and hardware, whereas Preston Smith currently has more than 17 years’ experience in classrooms and schools, spending most of that time as an administrator. Mr. Smith learned several things throughout his already-extensive career as an educator, even though he’s barely over the age of 40. He wrote an article back in May of 2017 that described some of these lessons, made available to educators, parents, students, and educational investors across the nation. Let’s get started.

Teachers are mandated to visit the places that their students reside in. Seeing as Rocketship Education is heavy on providing personalized instruction to each and every student using technological devices with softwares designed specifically for such uses, it’s vital for instructors to engage in this activity every year, if not more than once per semester.

Children tell their parents things that others aren’t privy to, even students’ closest, “best”-est-est friends they play with every day at recess. As such, Rocketship Education’s administration asks parents to provide feedback about their thoughts on teachers based on what students tell them after school, helping teachers improve their educational efforts.

Teachers’ demographical profiles should fit that of their students. An effective way of making this happen with precision is by first making groups of students and taking note of their demographical profiles. Better yet, multiple renditions of classrooms are created, in the event teachers hailing from particularly desired backgrounds aren’t readily available. Next, applicants with those backgrounds are encouraged to apply, from which it’s easier for administration to select instructors that are similar to particular classrooms’ average racial, ethnical, and cultural characteristics.

Students with learning disabilities are in their “regular,” general education classes at a minimum of 80% each and every school day. This helps other students become acclimated in dealing with disabled classmates, gives teachers experience in regulating their special students’ behaviors, and provides disabled students the ability to better interact in normal classroom settings, rather than segregated special education classes.

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