FAQs

What kind of community partners will I have access to?

Community partners include individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions who are excited to share their skills, experiences and passions with teachers and students in schools and out-of-school settings. They might have developed their skills and experiences through their work, schooling, hobbies, or the paths of life. They could be an elder who knows local neighborhood history, a faculty member or grad student at the UA, a chef at a restaurant, or a parent who is also an engineer at a local engineering firm.

What is a share?

A share is an event when a community partner connects with you and your students. One share equates to approximately one hour of time.

Can I invite people I know to participate as educators and partners?

Yes!! CommunityShare is being built by the community for the community, so we need your help to build the network. Just send folks to the website and tell them to create a profile. Easy peasy!

What are some ways I might work with a community partner?

It is up to you and the community partner to decide what is doable. If you have never worked with community partners before we suggest starting small. Community partners could speak about or facilitate a hands-on exercise about a particular topic being explored in your class, provide content-area expertise to support a classroom/school project, share their career & life experiences, judge a student contest, host a field trip, or even work with teachers to dig deeper into specific content areas.

What are the benefits of inviting someone into my classroom?

As you may have experienced in your own childhood or classroom, community partners can inspire students by helping them see “real-world” applications of what they are learning in the classroom, by increasing students’ understanding of career opportunities and by making STEM, the arts and other disciplines come alive by learning from professionals in the field. Partners can also increase students’ awareness of and access to community resources, internships, volunteer opportunities, and other ways to get civically engaged.

How can CommunityShare help address Common Core requirements?

Bringing in diverse community partners into your classroom can support several of the Common Core anchor standards, such as “participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, “evaluate a speakers point of view,” and “gather, evaluate and integrate diverse information sources from multiple points of view.” These are just a few examples!

What is expected of me?

Before you contact an partner, your experience will be most meaningful if you have a clear idea of how you might integrate their skills and expertise into your classroom work; however, it is also important to be open to new ideas when you communicate with your partner. Many community partners may not have stepped into a school for years, so the clearer you can be about the process for signing in at the school the better. Community partners may be a bit nervous about presenting to your students so the more welcome you can make them feel the better. As a member of CommunityShare, we ask that you actively participate while the community partner is sharing in your class so s/he feels supported.

Can I ask a community partner to come in to my class for multiple shares?

Yes, but how much time the partner can commit is up to them.

What do I need to do to prepare for a share?

We will very soon be posting some simple tips here on how best to prepare.

Is there a cost for me to participate?

Nope, we want to make things as accessible as possible.

Will community partners expect to be paid?

No. As a member of CommunityShare we ask community partners to volunteer 4-6 hours of their time per year. Of course, as volunteers they ultimately determine how much time they can actually share. Once a community partner reaches the 4-6 hour mark, they may be willing to volunteer more hours or may require compensation. We encourage you to have an open conversation about this with your community partner, especially if you are working on a time-intensive project together.

Where can I find funds to cover costs for materials, transportation, etc. that result from a community partnership?

The Pima County Public Library offers free workshops about how to research and write grants. We will soon be posting here some funding sources that provide small grants to schools, teachers and education.

Can I sign up as both an educator and community partner on CommunityShare?

You bet! If you wear dual hats, we encourage you to make one profile as an educator and another as a community partner. For example, you might teach at the UA and want to find community partners to work with your students, but as an academic you might be excited to share your expertise with K-12 students. Ok, maybe you won't sleep, but…

Can I sign up to find community partners if I am a school administrator or an educator in an out-of-school or "informal" learning setting?

Yes! If you are a school administrator or an educator who teaches/mentors youth in out-of-school or "informal" learning environments (e.g. afterschool programs, nonprofit educational programs, homeschooling), please sign up as a "K-12 classroom teacher." We know this is clunky and we promise in the next version of CommunityShare to make it easier for different types of educators to identify themselves when they sign up.

What is a share?

A share is an event during which you share skills, experience and expertise with a teacher and his/her students. One share equates to approximately one hour of time.

How much time do I need to commit?

As a member of CommunityShare, we ask that you consider giving 4-6 hours of your time per year. We know you are busy, so it is obviously up to you how much time you can offer. At CommunityShare we believe if a whole lot of passionate people give a little bit of their time, that collectively we can make a big difference in the lives of students and our education system.

What kinds of skills and experience could I share?

The most important thing is that you share something you are passionate about, whether is your personal story about discovering your own career pathway, a hobby or avocation, a significant life experience, etc. Obviously you want to make sure what you share directly relates with what the teacher is already exploring with his/her students. This is something you and the teacher should discuss ahead of time.

What are some ways I might share with a teacher and his/her students?

There are all kinds of ways you can share, the most hands-on and interactive the better! You can present about your work/life experiences, facilitate a hands-on exercise, offer input on a class project related to your expertise, host a field trip, judge a student competition, mentor a group of students….

Will I get paid?

No. Once you reach the 4-6 hour mark, it is up to you whether you want to continue volunteering or if at that point you want to request compensation for your time. Also, if you and the teacher decide on implementing a bigger project, you might want to consider applying for a small grant to support your time and any other expenses.

I’ve never done this before, how do I prepare?

We will very soon be posting some simple tips here on how best to prepare.

What do I do after I create my profile?

If you are looking for teachers or schools to work with, you can actively search for them based on different parameters and find a good match based on your skills and expertise.

How will teachers find me?

Teachers will be able to search and contact community partners that match the expertise they need to support the work they are doing with students. You can also actively search for teachers on the site if you have a particular idea or project in mind that you want to propose to teachers.

Can I invite people I know to participate as teachers and partners?

Yes!! CommunityShare is being built by the community for the community, so we need your help to build the network. Just send folks to the website and tell them to create a profile. Easy peasy!

Can I sign up as both a community partner and teacher on CommunityShare?

You bet! If you wear dual hats, we encourage you to make one profile as a teacher and another as a community partner. For example, you might work as a school teacher but also have a side career as a musician and are excited to share your music expertise with students.