RocketShip Is Changing The Way Schools Hire Teachers

Most parents have no clue whos going to be teaching their kids until just before the year of school starts. At Rocketship Education is revolutionizing the hiring proccess by letting parents help choose teachers who get accepted to teach before school begins in their charter schools.

A Washington Post, article by Perry Stein, explained the way parents are taking a role in the interview process allowing them to speak with aspiring teachers at RocketShips first school in Washington, D.C. set to open this fall.

Rocketship runs 13 schools so this isnt their first rodeo.

Co-founder and Chief Executive Preston Smith told Education Week participation of parents was always a staple of the company, which was founded in San Jose in 2007. The chain has mainly received naitoinwide attention for their personalized blended style of learning, but they have also touted parental involvement as a main feature of their strategy.

Smith stated, at each school, parents take some sort of role in the hiring proccess. Three – six parents will go through training before participating in panel interviews. Other times, the schools hold community sessions which allow parents to meet the teachers who are most likely to be offered positions.

A lot of times candidates may change their mind and walk away from the offer if htey feel it isnt the right fit. At one session, a candidate stood up in the middle of a parent involved interview. Smith noticed her leaving and asked her why she was leaving.

She said she wasnt prepared for that amount of involvement with parents, Smith shook her hand and she left. Smith stated “she made the right decision.”

Parents said to The Washington Post they enjoyed learning about candidates.

Jermaine Carter, a parent who was in an interview said “It’s a good idea to see and get a feel of who your child is going to be working with and what kind of personality they have”

While this method of vetting teachers is not common, it isnt the first time its been done. In the 1990s The Los Angeles Unified School District had parents involved in interviews for future staff members.