Category Archives: Special Teaching Method

Rocketship Education and Lessons Preston Smith, its President, Learned in the Last Decade

Rocketship Education was co-founded by Preston Smith in 2007, alongside business partner John Danner in Redwood City, California. Preston had years of experience in educating young, K-5 children in his hometown of San Jose. When he grew up there, its schools were of far higher quality. After he attended college in North Carolina and came back to San Jose, he quickly realized that schools weren’t what they used to be, in a bad way.

In response to his findings, Preston Smith came up with the idea of Rocketship Education. Most schools have to adhere to their local school boards’ mandates, rules, and guidelines. Low-income schools don’t always perform well when sticking to these factors, so he incorporated RSED as a public charter school, in which it could obtain funding from governments and private investors, without having to hold the organization true to these rules. This allowed its facilities to pick and choose which aspects of local guidelines it would implement, rather than blindly adhering to all of them.

Even though Preston had this genius idea in 2007, he’s still absorbed countless pieces of information throughout the years.

Students that have disabilities shouldn’t be stowed away in special ed classes with other, similarly-disabled students. This does not prepare them for the real world, and keeps “regular” students without disabilities away from people they’ll invariably run into in their lifetimes. According to Rocketship Education’s meaningful inclusion model, these students spend up to 80% of each day at school in general classrooms.

Parents conduct interviews for new teachers, believe it or not. Rather than being overly friendly and aloof, parents are instructed how to appropriately interview incoming teachers to ensure their children are subject to the best teachers possible.

Teachers at Rocketship Education don’t have to hold years of experience under their belts or otherwise be “better” than anyone else. However, it’s important that educators are willing to modify their ways of thinking and methods of instruction to accommodate each and every child at the nexus of public charter schools. They should also be willing to accept highly demanding work lives, as RSED’s increased salaries comes with more work to perform.