Preston Smith is the leader of Rocketship Education, a group of charter schools teaching students grades kindergarten through fifth grade across the United States. There are currently 18 installments spread throughout America: one in Wisconsin, twelve in California, three in Tennessee, and two in the nation’s capital.
Smith founded Rocketship Education, often shortened to the initialism RSED, alongside John Danner in 2007. While the former had experience in early childhood education at the time, Danner was great at technological application. The bond between the two yielded a pioneer in personalized learning through technological devices and software. Rocketship Education is known for this personalized style of learning, along with several other hallmarks.
Here are a few things Preston Smith has picked up along the way, things he’s learned over the past ten years, all of which have been spent with RSED.
Personalized learning doesn’t start in the classroom, or with teachers, like most may think – it starts at home. Teachers make visits to the homes of students once each academic year to learn about how they live. With this in mind, they can better personalize lessons for each and every student.
Parents are inherently involved in the system of Rocketship Education. Not only do they allow teachers into their homes; they’re also involved in panel-style interviews and screenings whenever openings turn up for teaching positions at Rocketship Education’s eighteen locations. Seeing as parents are often more concerned with the welfare of their students in the classroom and how much they learn, utilizing parents’ uncanny knack for sniffing out what’s best for students helps the chain of public charter schools pick out teachers best for the organization.
Further, even though it might seem counterintuitive, parents are urged to relocate their children to other schools if they believe the current system they’re in isn’t working up to expectations. Without having a high-quality school system, students are inherently less likely to take home meaningful knowledge and information. As such, their test scores, and overall performance in the classroom is reduced.
Preston Smith even helped organize a committee that founded a school in San Diego – it’s entirely possible for parents to do, too, given they’re coherent as a team unit and are in numbers.