Rock ‘N Learn is a small company of educators and parents that work together to develop educational products. Our goal is to help as many students as we can with a way to learn that meets them where they are. We want to help students grow their minds in a way that is fun and rewarding.
Richard, my brilliant brother-in-law, started this idea as school psychologist who was working on his MBA. On one hand, he had parents at ARD meetings telling him, “I don’t understand it. My kid can learn the lyrics to any song on the radio, but he can’t learn his math facts.” On the other hand, he was thinking, “I need to come up with a project for a marketing class."
Richard began looking for a record that he remembered his teacher using to help his class memorize math facts. He wanted to use that same record to help the parents of the students he was serving. Sadly, he found that it was out-of-print. “Ah-ha! That’s it! I will make a new recording with a more current sound!” thought Richard, “AND, I can use this as my MBA project too! Now, where am I going to get this music? I know! My brother Brad will be home from school at Christmas, and Brad is in a band. He will help me.”
Let me tell you, Brad was THRILLED at the thought of going into a studio with his band over the Christmas break. With a $500 investment, all of Richard and Kathie's savings, Brad and Richard started on a journey with their families to build a company that would help teachers, parents, and students in ways that none of us would never have even able to conceive in our wildest dreams.
Kathie, Richard’s wife, tirelessly found ways to get those first recordings, which she duplicated herself in their living room in the early days, into the hands of teachers. She would call school supply stores and ask them if she could leave the recordings in their store. If they sold, she would get paid. If not, she would pick them up. She and my mother-in-law, Janie, would spend hours at the library looking through phone books from other places to find more school supply stores.
Janie and her husband Burl would spend their vacations driving around the country from school supply store to school supply store making the offer and seeing the sites of these beautiful United States along the way. (Yes, marketing in those days would have been MUCH easier if we could have looked things up on the Internet!)
Brad and Richard continued building the company by working in the evenings after their jobs. Richard was still working as a school psychologist, and Brad was an engineer at Compaq. Kathie would work during the days, and the company grew, mostly by word of mouth from teachers and parents.
Eventually, they were able to quit their day jobs and work at Rock ‘N Learn full-time. I am Brad’s wife, Melissa. I joined the company after two years of teaching 2nd grade and a half year of teaching Chapter One Reading.
I loved, and still love, teaching in the classroom. In 2014, I returned to the classroom as a substitute to meet my fellow teachers “in the trenches” and find out better the kinds of things we can do to help them. I get to see first-hand what the children of today are needing. This is where I discovered a fascinating website called teacherspayteachers.com. It is a wonderful community of teachers that make products, as we have, that will help as many students as possible to learn and grow. Isn’t that really what life is all about?
Over the years, we have received numerous unsolicited letters from both parents and teachers telling us our evolving line of products have helped or changed their lives. We want to continue to make products that help you and your children. If you have an idea, or just a word of encouragement, feel free to drop us a line or comment on this blog.
Visit our NEW Teachers pay Teachers store at:
- Melissa Caudle, Educational Coordinator and Teacher-Author, Rock ‘N Learn, Inc.
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