Things Every Educator Should Know, by Rocketship Education President Preston Smith

Rocketship Education is a group of public charter schools located in four states throughout America. The network was founded in 2007 in San Francisco’s Bay Area, bestowing a great deal of innovativeness to the organization upon birth. John Danner and Preston Smith created RSED, the initialism for Rocketship Education, with an idea in mind to serve low-income areas with quality instruction, particularly with personalized education plans.

Danner’s long history with technology allowed him to mold software and learning systems to that of Rocketship Education, unarguably a pioneer in the field of individualized learning. Preston Smith taught for several years in San Jose, and even served as principal at a school he founded just three years after graduating college.

Throughout the first decade of operation at Rocketship Education, Smith was privy to countless lessons regarding education and pedagogical method application. Earlier this year, in August, he shared some of these lessons with the Internet.

People involved with public schools shouldn’t write off their status as public institutions. While it’s true private schools – really any that aren’t public – are largely better than their public counterparts, there are always exceptions to this rule. Rocketship Education’s eighteen locations are certainly exceptions. Whether one is involved with the top-notch facilities of RSED or a bottom-tier public school, that person should be more than proud of going to school for free, rather than writing the institutions off.

Administrators shouldn’t be afraid of calling back plans they’ve had at schools. Preston Smith had experienced with this after developing a means of education called the flex model. Not every pilot school did well, although a few of them performed exceptionally well. However, Smith felt it was important for every RSED location to utilize the flex model well, recalling the flex model at every location, even though it took tons of time to develop.

Teachers should be flexible in their methods of instruction. Parents give feedback to administrators on a weekly basis. As such, teachers are expected to change how they communicate with children if even one child isn’t learning very well. It’s more important to have a flexible teacher than one with decades of experience.

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