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Rocketship Public Schools Reviews

Updated February 13, 2018
84 reviews

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3.0
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Preston Smith
41 Ratings

84 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Most people are extremely hard working (in 13 reviews)

  • great mission and strong commitment to students and families (in 5 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great Staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Rocketship Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    As a new teacher the staff is truly supportive

    Cons

    long days but completely worth it

    Advice to Management

    none, thanks for everything


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Smart, passionate people, a bit disorganized"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great people who are passionate about what they do. Wonderful students and families.

    Cons

    Haven't really gotten down internal organization

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great team of teachers, difficult environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Rocketship Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Lots of very dedicated and talented teachers

    Cons

    Very hierarchical structure, with little autonomy


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Strong culture - floundering academics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rocketship Public Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    School culture is strong and students are bought in to the culture
    Family engagement is by far the best aspect of the organization

    Cons

    Very few content experts in the organization
    No instructional vision
    Most teachers are brand new to the field and leave after a year or two

    Advice to Management

    Hire and retain more seasoned teachers


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Better than Traditional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Rocketship Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Better salary, more coaching and support and more appreciation than a typical public school. I taught public for a number of years before making the move to Rocketship and it has been well worth it.

    Cons

    There are a lot of requirements that are great for teachers who lack experience but become a bit constraining as you develop as an educator. If you stay in the network and gain trust you can advocate for changes you believe will benefit your students.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Unexperienced staff and long hours made for challenging work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Rocketship Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Student focused, investment in parents and community

    Cons

    Long hours, lack of staff resources at times, development


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Do NOT come here to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School in Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Rocketship Public Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Decent salary
    Nice Staff
    Wonderful kids
    Great Location
    Staff Lunches

    Cons

    Principal
    Administration
    Inconsistency
    Unprofessional
    Deception

    Advice to Management

    Keep your promises. Learn people skills. Be consistent.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing Network"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Rocketship Public Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing coaching. Loveable staff. Memorable experience

    Cons

    The hours are long, but the experience is worth it

    Advice to Management

    Keep being amazing!


  9. Helpful (5)

    "I REALLY should've listened to these reviews- DO NOT TAKE A JOB HERE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rocketship Public Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Some nice people, but they're all brainwashed and conditioned by the Rocketship culture.

    Cons

    -YOU WILL be enticed by their pay and benefits. I made 2x my last salary and had to tell myself every morning that it was worth it. It definitely was not. It drove me close to insanity. I had to quit for my own mental and physical health, which I witnessed happen a handful of times.
    -ABSOLUTELY NO work/life balance. When this was brought to the higher up's attention, they were aggressive, demeaning, and made disgusting comments such as, "I can't get pregnant because of the stress this job puts on me and he doesn't see his wife or son, but that's my sacrifice and his sacrifice. You just have to sacrifice."
    -I witnessed firsthand verbal abuse to many employees.
    -"Professional development" is a waste of time. Those in the education field might feel appreciated and valued by the time and effort the administration puts into professional development, but it is overbearing, time consuming, and useless in the end.
    -No one ACTUALLY cares about your well being. They operate on a start-up mentality, but not in a good way. In a way that means you are overworked and underappreciated.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Don't ignore the reviews."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Stem Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Stem Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rocketship Public Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people you will work with are honestly great. The people who do this work are in it for the right reasons.
    You get a sizable budget for your classroom! You can be reimbursed for decorations, supplies, etc.
    The pay is decent if you don't factor in how many hours you'll pour into this job.
    Benefits are pretty solid.

    Cons

    Maybe this would be an solid gig if you've been teaching before in a similar culture/SES environment... but if you're new, this will require a SHARP learning curve. Almost everything else is incredibly difficult, but not in the way that is satisfying and you feel proud. This is the kind of job that can make you legitimately depressed.

    Especially if you're new to teaching (either in general or new to this age group or charter schools) you could reasonably expect:
    A school day that expects you to be in front of children from 7:35 am to 4:20 pm. You get~40 minutes of "planning time" and 40 minutes for lunch. STEM teachers will be expected to teach 4, relatively back-to-back- 90-100 minute classes. Humanities teachers will be expected to teach two 180-minute classes. Students get one 40 minute enrichment, 4 days a week as well as 20 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for recess. (If you think about transitions from classroom to classroom, that cuts into that time).
    12+ hours days 5 days a week - and unless you literally pack every minute you're at work with productivity, you can expect to spend 3-10 hours on the weekend.
    An environment that focuses on appearances - kids are judged formally and informally on their neatness, ability to comply with directions, ability to stay silent and focused for the duration of classes that are either 1.5 hours or 3 hours long.
    Planning time often taken up by meetings that don't serve much purpose.
    Discipline is on you. Schools want you to be in charge of detention and even management of out of the ordinary classroom behaviors. You will be responsible for everything that happens in your classroom, with minimal support fro leadership who are often slow to respond to calls for help if they respond at all. If a student has a freak-out and is being not only distracting but harmful to themselves or others... good luck. Other people will often tell you it's your responsibility to build relationships with all the children and tell you to give up your lunch time to work with the children who need more behavior attention.
    Lack of institutional knowledge. This school network has been around for 10 years. How, after 10 years, is the curriculum/resources not incredibly robust? Teachers are told they will be given lesson plans but those plans are bare bones. Often they would be a student facing document that you're supposed to figure out how Rocketship wants you to teach it. For a network that hires SO MANY new teachers (new to the network and new to teaching in general), you would think that they would have better onboarding.
    Leadership does not seem invested in you as a person. If you want to feel like a just a body to fill a spot, then this could work for you. Even with the coaching system, it's a crapshoot. You may get a good coach who adequately prepares you, or you might not. You can't entirely blame principals and assistant principals because many of them were put in their positions underprepared too.
    The accreditation program seems to be a joke. I took this job under the pretense that they would help me get my credential and I'd learn a lot about teaching. You will get some incredibly easy online classes, given an emergency credential to teach your first year, and you'll have to take some tests, which they prep you for. However, if you wanted to pull out of that program and transfer to a different program, you'll find that none of your work will transfer because REACH is using an outdated testing system that other credential programs won't accept. Hopefully, that will be rectified soon.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to slow teacher turnover. If schools are going through multiple teachers for the same class each year (like 2 or 3 4th grade math teachers in one year) there is clearly a problem.
    Add joy to each school. That starts from the top.
    Make onboarding practical, especially for new teachers/recent grads.
    Listen to your teachers. They are your front lines. If you want successful students, you need successful teachers.


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