WATCH ➟ Morning Launch with Rocketship

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by Jen Merz
Teacher, Sí Se Puede Academy

I’m not a morning person. I never have been and likely never will be. During high school, I struggled to keep my eyes open in first period. In college, I scheduled all my classes after 10:00 am. But nowadays, 7:45 am is my favorite part of each and every workday. Why? Because it’s time for Rocketship’s Launch.

Launch is loud, silly and loads of fun. Each day we say the Pledge of Allegiance and we recite the Rocketship creed, promising to uphold our core values.  We declare proudly that we are all persistent and responsible Rocketship Rocketeers who are respectful of each other and empathetic to our world.  After that we sing – or rather, we scream – a song that inspires us to display a specific core value.

Rocketship_CreedWe close with a choreographed dance party with over 600 Rocketeers.  Students and parents learn a new awesome dance designed by teachers so no one stands awkwardly on the sidelines. Launch gives Rocketeers the opportunity to be goofy, loud and share a positive experience that prepares them for a successful day at school.

Silliness aside, to me the real magic of Launch is the connections we make and the community we build every morning. As my students trickle in before the official start to Launch, I have time to greet them and check in. Within this unique space, I engage with them 1:1, learning about their new puppies or their most recent visit from the tooth fairy. During Launch, we build the relationships that are crucial for reaching our goals once we enter the classroom.

Additionally, Launch is where we define what it means to be a Rocketship Rocketeer. We dig deeper into the meaning of each of our core values, celebrating students who are exemplifying these characteristics and setting campus wide goals for demonstrating them. We create a community of Rocketeers as we Shake it Off with Taylor Swift, sing loudly and proudly to Katy Perry’s Roar or cheer for the persistent students who unanimously win the dance off against the teachers.

As we say in our daily creed, together, we are all Rocketship Rocketeers!


Jen is in her 7th year as a first grade Literacy Teacher at Sí Se Puede Academy. She graduated from The University of California, Los Angeles and prior to teaching at Rocketship she worked as an assistant teacher at the UCLA Lab School. In 2009, Jen joined Teach for America and became a member of the founding team of teachers at Sí Se Puede. A Bay Area native, Jen enjoys exploring the many hiking trails Northern California has to offer. 

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