Here at Outschool, we're always looking for ways to learn and stretch our work. After all, we're here to help kids learn and discover their passion for learning. We love celebrating our team and are always looking to welcome new people in and collaborate.In the second edition of Working at Outschool, we sat down with Content Policy Lead, Rachel Kennedy, to learn more about what inspires her workday, motivates her work, and what she loves most about working at Outschool.
Working at Outschool: A Day in the Life of an Outschool Team Member
What Is Your Role at Outschool, and How Long Have You Worked Here?
I am the Content Policy Lead at Outschool. I lead a team responsible for setting, managing, and implementing the policies and standards for publishing Outschool classes on our marketplace. I've worked at Outschool for a little over a year and have loved every second!
What Inspires You About Your Role?
As part of my role, I get to work with subject-matter experts who help ensure that the content available on Outschool is accurate, free of bias, and supports multiple perspectives, particularly those of marginalized groups. Through these partnerships, we can provide free professional development resources to educators. An example is a webinar and content we created for responsibly and accurately teaching about Indigenous Peoples, where we provided guidelines for how to include Native viewpoints in classes. Amplifying the voices of these experts by bringing them to Outschool and sharing their work with educators inspires me.
How Did You Get Started in Your Career? Did You Have any Career Role Models?
I began my career as a 9th-grade French teacher and then as an English lecturer at a university in France. These were really formative experiences for me, and I quickly became interested in knowing more about education policy - what it was, how it gets set, what it turns into in practice, and why. I didn't have a particular career role model in mind, I was really intrigued by how information travels in a school system and how that affected what policies and procedures ended up in place, and I knew I wanted to learn more!
Did Anything Help Pave the Way For Where You Are Now in Your Career?
My Masters program was in Education Policy and Management, and it really helped me answer all those questions I had! It was also my first exposure to design thinking and leveraging design methodologies for setting and remixing policies. I love my role at Outschool because I get to combine my deep knowledge of education policy with my passion for iterating and prototyping!
How Do You Like to Start Your Day? Any Morning Routines?
I always start my day early by walking my dog, rain or shine. If the weather is nice, we like to go out on the hiking trails surrounding my house to view the water (I live on an island off the coast of Maine). Then I do a workout, typically a virtual Pure Barre class (I'm addicted!), before getting ready, having breakfast, and opening my laptop with my trusty mug of tea in hand. I'm fortunate to keep my work things in a separate room to help differentiate between home and office spaces.
Remote Life: How Do You Like to Stay Connected With Your Team?
I think remote work offers many rich ways to feel connected to colleagues, even more so than in person. I love sharing pictures of my personal life and seeing what others have been up to that weekend, as well as reading everyone's Highlights and Lowlights each week in Slack.
Setting aside time to connect as humans is really valuable - and makes our work together even more robust. Some of my favorite memories are of learning how to make pasta together with a few teams over Zoom, doing a silly "guess my height" game with my fabulous Community colleagues, and getting to share images from my twice-delayed wedding with the whole team. I feel really connected to my team members, and it helps me be a better collaborator and coworker.
How Do You Stay Motivated and Re-Mix Your Work?
I love to remix and am always thinking about ways to iterate and improve our work. One of the exciting things about being in a culture that embraces trying things out in new ways is it helps push back on the traditional narratives around policy setting – that once a policy is made, it's set in stone, and there can be no undoing. I love getting to turn that narrative on its head at Outschool - we've created every policy, and we can also un-create them, alter them, or make them even better or crisper. It's an inspiring space to be in!
What Do You Love Most About Working at Outschool?
It's so hard to choose just one thing, but it's the people first and foremost that brought me here and who keep me excited to start work every day. Outschool has grown really fast over the past two years, and it's a testament to our intentional and thoughtful culture how everyone is genuinely welcomed into our community, set up for success, and that we have the support, resources, and benefits that make Outschool an exceptional place to work.
How Is Outschool Unique From Other Educational Platforms?
Outschool puts learners first - we let kids lead the way with their own interests and passions to encourage a genuine love of learning. On the Outschool platform, there is indeed a class for everyone - you name it, we have it. When you encourage a learner's innate curiosity, that's where the magic happens!
If the World Could Know One Thing About Outschool, It Is..?
Our content policies ensure that all educators, learners, and families feel welcome on our platform and can expect a positive experience in their Outschool classroom. I'm proud to help ensure that our classes are objective, inclusive, and taught by experts!
Working at Outschool: A Day in the Life
Whether you want to research, lead, educate, or carve your own path, there's something for everyone at Outschool. No matter what your role is, one thing holds true every day, we're all here to help kids find their love of learning.
To find your next dream role, check out the Outschool Careers page