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Connecting with community educators

Explore resources designed to help educators and school leaders identify, connect with and incorporate community educators into educator teams.

Who are community educators?

Community educators are youth-serving professionals and volunteers who provide capacity and insight in service of deepening and personalizing student learning. They enrich learning environments by forging authentic relationships, sharing expertise and expanding networks. In Next Education Workforce models, community educators connect as part of educator teams, where they leverage their knowledge and skills to complement the work of professional educators.

About this collection

These resources are designed to support schools and educator teams as they build out their community educator pipelines. Additional resources are available to help educator teams meaningfully incorporate community educators into learning environments.

Connecting with community educators

Community educators are a critical part of the education ecosystem and can be found in industry partners, community organizations, local businesses, and even amongst your neighbors, family and friends. However, there are also resources and databases made specifically to locate and connect with community educators who are ready to support your learning environment.


Six tips for engaging a community educator

Explore this resource to learn six tips for engaging a community educator:

  1. Set the purpose of the engagement.
  2. Think about unique perspectives.
  3. Map your community to identify community educators.
  4. Invite with clarity.
  5. Collaborate together.
  6. Set the visit up for success.


5 tips for community educators preparing to enter the classroom and other learning spaces

Explore this resource to learn tips that will help community educators prepare to enter any learning space, have a successful experience and make lasting, meaningful connections with learners.

  1. Prepare for your session.
  2. Translate industry expertise.
  3. Manage the learning space.
  4. Build sustained relationships.
  5. Work with students during the visit.


Community educator asset map

An asset map is a visual way to identify resources within your community. A map focused on identifying community educators can help your team compile your collective knowledge into a useful resource of community educator lists, by topic or essential question. The act of creating a map of expertise can help you discover connections you already have, organizations you’d love to know about, and talents and resources near your school or available virtually.


New support roles for educator teams in online and hybrid settings

Teaching in online and hybrid settings presents both new challenges and new opportunities for distributing expertise across educator teams. Community educators (among others) may be untapped assets for teams seeking to better support students, deepen and personalize student learning, and increase the number of caring adults present in students’ lives. This resource begins by defining the groups of adults who might be leveraged to support students, and then proposes the specific roles those adults might play in the learning space.