One of the ways in which Rocketship charter schools are unique is that they involve parents in the teacher hiring process. That is right. At Rocketship schools parents actually help select which teachers will be teaching their kids. Rocketship schools even train groups of parents on how to conduct a professional interview with prospective teachers at their schools.
The founder of Rocketship charter schools, Preston Smith says that this approach is highly effective. It helps bring in teachers that parents feel comfortable teaching their kids and fosters a closer relationship between the entire community. Smith also says that there has never been a case where the parents and staff like himself were in disagreement over which teacher should or should not get hired. The process not only works, but seems to work well.
Rocketship operates 13 different charters schools across the country, including a new onc open in Washington D.C. Parents there are actively participating in the job interview process for new teachers. What do parents have to say about the job interview process that they are involved? They are fans of it and say it is good for kids and maybe even good for teachers.
Preston Smith says that during one interview with parents and staff at Rocketship, one teacher got up to leave. When Smith asked where she was heading, she said that the intense level of interaction was not something she was ready to handle at Rocketship charter schools. The process can not only be good for parents, staff and students but for the teachers as well. It can weed out teachers who may not be suitable for the Rocketship charter school system.
The charter school system has also received attention for another unique aspect in its teaching and operation. Rocketship schools are now one of a handful of schools that teach using a personalized and blended style approach. This approach treats students as individuals and tries to cater to their specific needs. Instead of trying to teach everyone in the same way, Rocketship believes that such an approach is more beneficial. Student performance at Rocketship charter schools seem to support this claim.