rising-leaders

Rising Into School Leadership

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by Michelle Chung Ng
Assistant Principal, Rising Stars Academy

I can still remember the day my coach suggested I should apply to be in Rocketship’s Rising Leaders program. I was excited by the challenge and the opportunity to grow professionally. As a member of the Rising Leaders cohort 15-16, I have grown professionally by being honest about my development areas, being pushed out of my comfort zone and sharing openly with those in my cohort. Sitting in a room with other highly effective teachers who want to grow and learn as a professional inspires me.

Rising Leaders is a leadership development program that is offered to teachers at Rocketship who are interested in growing their adult management skills and have taught for more than two years. The program is designed both for teachers who want to grow their leadership in the classroom or begin the transition into school leadership. We meet once a month with our cohort, which is composed of about 20 teachers across the network.

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United We Learn

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by Jason Egly
Teacher, Rocketship United Academy

Egypt

Kenya

Somalia

Mexico

Honduras

El Salvador

Venezuela

Puerto Rico

USA

Is this about the Olympics?

No. It’s a list of the homelands proudly represented by the students in my two fourth grade Humanities classes at Rocketship United Academy (RUA) in Nashville. Continue reading

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Reconstructing Beauty: Empowering Our Girls for a Better Future

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by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Rocketship Discovery Prep

Growing up in Hartford, Connecticut I learned the value of education early on. My mother was a workaholic providing for a family of seven and carried herself with strength and poise. Life at home was difficult at times, so I became immersed in school and extracurricular activities. Though involved in many organizations at school, I was still harassed for being African American, athletic, religious and just for being a girl. I was constantly teased about my hair. There were times in high school where I felt insecure about my physical appearance and capabilities. This motivated me to find my inner strength. I needed to become the Queen I was encouraging my friends to be.

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egly

This Nashville Teacher and Dad Is Living Proof of the Importance of School Choice

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by BEYOND Editorial Team, Bay Area

In May, Education Post featured the story of one of our new Rocketeers, Jason Egly. Jason has been a teacher for 6 years and starting next month will teach at Rocketship United Academy in Nashville. But Jason is not just an educator, he is a parent of three kids in public school.

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5 Books for Boosting Classroom Leadership Skills

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Integrated Special Education Program Specialist

Students aren’t the only ones who are enjoying the summer season. Teachers, too, deserve this well-earned break to visit the beach, take in a trip or binge watch their favorite series on Netflix. Some teachers, though, will find that summer is an excellent time to own their own professional development through various workshops, training or even through resources at the local library. Here are five books that we recommend to kick off teachers’ summer reading: Continue reading

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Learning & Letting Go: A Year in a Kinder Classroom

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by Chelsea Graeff
Kindergarten Teacher, Rocketship Los Sueños 

“Ms. Graeff! Ms. Graeff!”

When you are a kindergarten teacher, you are a celebrity. All of the kids call out your name when they see you, with admiration, joy and expectation — not only the students who are with you for the 180 days of that particular school year, but also all the kids who have sat in your classroom over the years. That’s because kindergarten is like no other year in elementary school. For the students, everything is new and a little bit scary at first. For the teacher, we have the privilege of shaping a child’s identity as a student and their idea of what school is all about. There is nothing more dramatic than the change in a kindergartener from the beginning of the year to the end.

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Pathways to Teaching: Rising Teachers Share Their Journeys

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by BEYOND Editorial Team
Bay Area

A few weeks ago, we shared here a look at a few of the educators involved in our Rising Leaders program. But the pathway to leadership begins even earlier at Rocketship, where we also offer a Rising Teachers program to help tutors, enrichment coordinators, paraprofessionals, and support staff earn their teaching credential. These passionate, dedicated educators are eager to lead Rocketship classrooms, so we’re giving them the tools they need to succeed there. Each cohort of Rising Teachers spends five months learning together about classroom management, lesson planning, and leadership skills. Additionally, Rocketship supports Rising Teachers in developing a timeline for the completion of a credentialing program and underwrites the cost of tuition.

To learn more about the experience and what it has to offer different types of Rising Teachers, we spoke with two current program participants. Eliza Kritz is an Individualized Learning Specialist (ILS) who is completing her first year at Rocketship Redwood City Prep. Michelle Kittel has been with Rocketship Spark for two years teaching art and drama as an Enrichment Center Coordinator (ECC), and is working toward becoming an English Language Arts (ELA) teacher.
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Learning to Lead: Reflections on Rocketship’s Rising Leaders Program

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by BEYOND Editorial Team
Bay Area

From students to staff, diversity is a point of pride at Rocketship. Our staff come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring unique perspectives, goals, and skills.

To celebrate that diversity while working toward ambitious achievement goals for our students and communities, Rocketship customizes professional development and career pathways to meet the varied needs and goals of our staff.

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QueenHype

QueenHype: Empowering Girls to Write History Her Way

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by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Rocketship Discovery Prep

Research shows that students who believe in themselves succeed both inside the classroom and out of it. But where does that belief come from when we live in a society that constantly undermines the value of women? Noticing a lack of self-confidence in my female students at Rocketship Discovery Prep, and understanding the impact that self-esteem has on positive growth-mindset and learning, I decided this was something I could not ignore. As educators, we have a responsibility to meet our students where they’re at, so with the encouragement of school leadership, I created QueenHype.

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They Deserve a Dream: A Reflection

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by Dr. Bianca Jones
Assistant Principal, Rocketship United Academy

Editor’s Note: Dr. Jones originally wrote this piece as part of Rocketship’s weekly  Thursday Reflection, in which selected staff reflect on their practice and current topics and share with the larger Rocketship staff. All names were changed to protect confidentiality. We’re reprinting these inspirational words in celebration of Black History Month.

“What are you?”

“Which side do you identify with? Black? White?”

“Who are you more like?”

These are questions I negotiate, answer, re-answer, and avoid all throughout my life as a biracial individual.

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Celebrate Your Students Every Day

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by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Rocketship Discovery Prep

At Rocketship, we’re big on data-driven assessment to help us boost academic achievement by measuring student growth. When students see their own progress, they make an investment in their learning. But positive results aren’t the only thing that contribute to success. 

Rocketeers recently took their NWEA MAP assessments, and as testing windows come to a close we might find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are excited testing is over, but we know that we have only hit the halfway point and there is still work to be done as staff, students and community. As we dig deep into our students’ strengths and areas where there is room for growth, it is exciting and humbling to discover how they are directly tied to our teaching practices.  Continue reading

RSED History

4 Books for Black History Month

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by Logan Juve Janicula
Integrated Special Education Coach
Associate Editor ➟ BEYOND

February is a month to celebrate many things from Saint Valentine to our presidents. One of the most important celebrations of the month, however, centers around the diverse and critical history of African Americans: Black History Month. Continue reading