For most parents, knowing who will teach their children is something they find out right before school starts.
At Rocketship Education however things are completely different. Instead of coming to school to find out who will be teaching your child, parents get the opportunity to interview the teachers before they are hired.
According to Preston Smith, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Rocketship Education, allowing parents to sit in on interviews is a great way to encourage parent participation, something that is extremely important to the Rocketship community.
While Rocketship has gained quite a bit of national attention due to its very personalized and blended-learning style, it is the emphasis on parent involvement that has made the program such a success.
Each campus allows parents to be a part of the interview process in some shape or form. It is not uncommon to see six families undergoing training so they can participate in panel interviews.
Rocketship will also hold community meetings to give the parents the opportunity to meet the job finalists.
Smith says the input from the parents is very important. When both parents and school leaders are in agreement it makes for a wonderful school year.
In some cases the teachers will realize Rocketship is not for them. In one particular instance Smith recalls seeing a potential candidate get up and leave during a discussion.
When he asked her why she was leaving she said she was not ready for “this level of intensity with parents.”
The process of allowing parents to be a part of the interview process helps the school get the best possible teachers for their students.
And while some people don’t agree with it, at the end of the day it has been a very successful approach. Not only are the parents happy, but the students tend to be happy as well.