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Common core

Do you know your neighbors?

Posted on October 7, 2014 by Kathy Rusert

Know your neighbors

Oftentimes, it’s a great motivator to have interesting people come to your class to teach a lesson or to do special projects.  Be specific with what you want them to teach. I have found that neighbors are happy to be asked to share their knowledge and talents and passes it on to the students. It also presents opportunities for real-life or community service work and encourages students to continue to these as they become adults.

Don't know where to start?

There are many community resources available.  Consider State and National Park Interpreters, Game and Fish representatives, USDA and Soil Conservation Office personnel, Extension Office agents, community college outreach programs, Lions and Rotary Club members, Master Gardeners, Projects Wet and Wild facilitators or Project Learning Tree programs.  Those are just a few you might consider coming to help with programs in your classroom.  Talk about new and innovative ideas! 

Don’t forget parents.  Learn about their careers and interests and invite them to your class.  I have found that if you want something done, don’t ask the person who has time, ask the ones who are already busy.  They are the ones who will make time to get the job done.  If they don’t want to lead a lesson or activity, they may be willing to come and assist with larger projects or help you with bulletin boards, copying, etc.  This also creates a positive alliance between parents/teachers/students.


Kathy Rusert is a teacher at Acorn High School in Mena, AR and a regular blogger on She often writes about the projects she does with her class and the funding she's able to receive from websites like

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