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Hi friend,

This is Corey. I’m one of the co-founders of RocketPD.

Today marks the launch of an exciting new resource for K-12 school leaders and their teams.

If you don’t know my story, I’m a proud product of K-12 public schools out of Howard County, Md.

I’m also someone with Cerebral Palsy.

I always tell people that I owe my success, in large part, to my family and a handful of classroom teachers, who helped me turn my physical differences into personal strengths.

Our students need teachers and staff like the ones I had growing up more than ever. But even the truly great ones aren’t getting the help and support they need.

We can’t afford to lose more educators to fatigue and frustration.

No amount of technology, or innovation can easily replace the passion, guts and commitment that our front-line teams bring to their jobs every day.

At RocketPD, our mission is to provide our K-12 friends and colleagues with access to the personal stories, resources and inspiration they need to stay in the fight and win for students.

Each month, starting today, I’ll use my background as a veteran education writer and journalist to research and share (3) hopefully useful items with the members of this community:

  1. A selection of articles to read & share;
  2. Profiles of educators going above & beyond; and
  3. Resources to help you and your team do the same

The RocketPD Community is — and forever will be — free to K-12 educators and their friends.

Here’s another promise: You’ll always be able to read it in under 5 mins.

What follows is the first edition.

If you like it, all we ask is that you consider forwarding it on to your friends and colleagues.

The bigger our little community, the more we all stand to learn from each other.

Educators can register for the RocketPD Community FREE here.

Welcome to the RocketPD Community — and thank you for joining us on this journey.

Scroll down and read on for Volume 1.

corey murray, co-founder rocketpd

Corey, co-founder

Sponsored by TeleTeachers

tele teachers logo

There are more than 7.3 million students in the U.S. on an IEP. Since the pandemic, many of them have fallen even further behind. Our friends at TeleTeachers are working to close that gap by leveling the playing field for all students with access to critical services.

They recently hosted an interesting fireside chat on the link between social-emotional supports and student success. If this is something your team has been talking about, be sure to check it out FREE here.

Vol. I - June 2022

What we’re reading …

Remember those COVID funding freezes? Some say they backfired.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. As COVID swept across the country, legislators in some states put a freeze on funding to protect districts from declining enrollment. But some districts, especially rural ones, grew. Now, schools in these places need more dough to support students. Sound familiar? (Read about it.)

Panic attacks are real. And teachers are having more of them.
Teaching has always been stressful. But harmful to your health? New research suggests panic attacks are on the rise among classroom educators. America’s teachers are not OK — and some say the worst is yet to come. Higher pay can help, but it’s not enough. (What you can do.)

Schools received $190B during the pandemic. Is it helping?
Don’t call it a bailout. Or do. The last time schools received federal stimulus dollars, America was in the throes of The Great Recession. Now, we might be headed for another downturn. ESSER funds were supposed to boost learning outcomes for kids who fell behind, but is any of it working? It’s debatable.
(For all sorts of reasons.)

Educators doing great work …

This guy wanted to be a teacher. Now he’s a teacher-leader.
Tristan Hunter is a teacher. He knows from experience how tough the job can be, especially if you’re just starting out. So, he carved out a way to help early-career educators find success. (Read more from Tristan.)

Hit follow. Here’s 30 education leaders to keep your eye on.
If innovation is everything, then this list of 30 #edtech innovators should make your short list of cool stuff to read this week. Who made the cut: an educator who engineers robots to help minority students and a district CTO with an eSports arena. (And that’s just for starters.)

CodeRVA tackles learning loss through IT internships.
Speaking of innovators, magnet schools are having a moment. Check out how one Virginia school levels the playing field for minority students and students with disabilities with a focus on computer coding and tech careers.
(Discover CodeRVA.)

Tools & resources to help …

A flight simulator for teachers. It’s a thing, apparently.
Airline pilots, sure. But teachers? A new simulator program in Virginia gives aspiring and new educators a chance to practice handling different scenarios before they encounter them in the classroom.
(Talk about preparing for anything.)

Action-oriented family engagement, an Rx for parent support.
When families are engaged in school, students learn better. Them’s facts. But too many schools don’t know what family engagement problem they’re trying to solve. Author and educator Dr. Steve Constantino has launched a new program to solve for that. (Check it out.)

5 ways to support teacher well-being.
Teachers are under serious pressure. Here’s 5 things you can do today to show your staff that you value their work and care about their mental fitness, including being a better listener.
(Give your teachers the help and support they need.)

Overheard on the internet …

“There is a lot of trauma in teaching.
It’s rewarding but also takes an emotional toll.”

I hope you enjoyed this edition of the RocketPD Community Newsletter as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The best communities are ones that grow. If you know someone who you think would benefit from these ideas, please forward this message along. Registration is free. And they can sign up here.

If you know an educator who deserves some ink, or have an idea you’d like to see featured in an upcoming edition, share your secrets with us at [email protected]; subject line: community. We’ll pass the best of the best on to the group in a future edition.

Be good. Do good. Keep up the fight.

-Corey & The RocketPD Team

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Join the thousands of educators committed to ‘staying in the fight’ for students and families.