United We Learn

by Jason Egly
Teacher, Rocketship United Academy






El Salvador


Puerto Rico


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

Reconstructing Beauty: Empowering Our Girls for a Better Future

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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Frustrated, Curious, Optimistic: How Teaching Social-Emotional Learning Benefits Students & Teachers

by Alyssa Warren
Senior Associate, Rocketship Schools Team
Aiden and I started the year off strong. At our home visit before the school year had started, we played “Chutes and Ladders” and ate ice cream and he showed me all of his books, reading the title of every single one. He was a new first grader, excited to start at a new school with uniforms, multiple teachers, dancing, and his big brother across the hall. Aiden was a quick learner, eager to participate, and always winning new friends at recess with his bright eyes, wide smile, and silly jokes. Continue reading

4 Books for Black History Month

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

MLK: A Guide to Teaching Tolerance

by Logan Juve Janicula
Program Specialist
Associate Editor ➟ BEYOND

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is around the corner, presenting an opportunity to teach students about character alongside an important time in American history. While teaching King’s lessons of tolerance and respect are lifelong ones, beginning or continuing these conversations in the classroom can be a challenging yet important opportunity. Continue reading

They Shoot, They Score: Rocketship’s Annual Special Olympics

by Emma Brady
Associate Director, Integrated Special Education

Goooooooal! Last Friday’s Special Olympics soccer tournament was a day sure to be remembered by many.  Cheers erupted from all sides of the soccer fields while students raced past family, friends and teachers on the sidelines to make that coveted goal for their school team. This tournament marked Rocketship’s second partnership with the Special Olympics.

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Boys to Men: Mu Phi Gamma Fraternity

by Cameron Frazier
Teacher, Nashville Northeast Elementary

Great schools do more than teach kids how to read and write. They teach kids to engage, think critically and lead. When I first began teaching, I realized many of boys had room to improve both their academic and leadership skills. So, in October of 2012, I partnered with two colleagues at Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida to unite the male population at our school. We envisioned a program that would help build the boys in our school into young men. Modeled after a fraternity, we focused on the pillars of scholarship, brotherhood and leadership. When I began teaching at Nashville Northeast Elementary in 2015, I extended the organization and created the Beta Chapter. I’m proud to share Mu Phi Gamma has already made an impression on our campus. Currently the Beta Chapter is impacting  18 young men. The Mu Phi Gamma Rocketeers participate in community service projects, tutoring, brotherhood gatherings, awareness seminars and have even formed a step dance group.

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rocketship drama

Drama Exercises that Teach Kids Invaluable Life Skills

by Melissa Nuñez
Enrichment Center Coordinator, Alma Academy

As Alma Academy’s drama teacher, I have the opportunity to explore self-expression with my students all year long. By expressing themselves through a number of creative drama activities, Rocketeers develop their imagination, artistic awareness, self-confidence, public speaking skills and the ability to work collaboratively with a group. No matter if you teach drama or more traditional classes like math and reading, these three activities can boost your students’ expressive skills. Continue reading

Photos: Rocketeers star in Avaya Stadium’s ‘Best Game Ever’

by Nikki David
Associate Editor, BEYOND

Education can take you anywhere. In this case, excellent writing skills led a few lucky Rocketeers to the soccer game of their dreams – where they were the stars! Many Rocketeers play in San Jose’s New Stars soccer league, an external league created for Rocketship students by Rocketship Enrichment Center Coordinators. While checking out the San Jose Earthquakes‘s locker room, on what they thought was just a tour of the brand new Avaya Stadium, Rocketeers found out they had won the essay contest on why they deserved to play in the ‘Best Game Ever’. Continue reading

How to Help Students Unlock their Power & Find Their Voice

by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Discovery Prep

There is great power in self-advocacy. Above all skills, this is the one that will drive our student outcomes further than anything else. The ability to ask a clarifying question, risk giving the wrong answer and speak up when something seems unjust empowers students to constantly strive for excellence. A successful and fulfilling future starts with self-advocacy. It encourages students to work and fight relentlessly for what they want and need, whether they’re vying for a spot at a top law school or protesting discriminatory laws in their local government. They have the power to make their dreams a reality. Continue reading

A (Not-So-Secret) Formula for Incredible Student Growth

by Anna Layden
Teacher, Southside Community Prep

When one of my students, Sarah*, achieved the most growth in her grade, I wasn’t surprised. Her incredible drive to work hard always stood out; for a kindergartner, that level of dedication was unique for her. She came in wanting to learn and improve.

When Sarah also achieved one of the highest overall scorers on her middle and end of the school year assessments, I was in awe. Her success was a testament to how personalized learning, the right school environment and a dedicated team of educators can make an extraordinary difference in a child’s learning. Continue reading