Reach Out and Touch Someone
The Community Connection
Student learning is greatly enhanced by teachers who know and validate the cultures of
the students they serve. Awareness of one’s own values/biases and knowledge about
student cultures and their community is key to establishing rapport and effective
communication with families. The use of this awareness and knowledge is critical to
maximizing student learning/achievement, and creating and maintaining a classroom
climate that promotes fairness.
For the purpose of this task, community is more than just the physical space surrounding
a school. Community is anything that impacts the lives and identities of the students.
For example, if your school has African-American students, a visit to a museum of
African American history is an appropriate event. Furthermore, when students are
transported from another community, an Intern should visit that community.
Of particular importance, the School District has made a commitment to raise the
achievement of all students, with a particular focus on the under-achieving African-
American student population. It is recommended that interns whose schools service
under-achieving African-American students, their attention for this task should include
this student population.
Interns will research and participate in relevant aspects of students’ cultural background
and experiences outside of the school day, thereby gaining greater insight and
understanding of various cultural groups at school. Ongoing personal reflection and
revisiting belief systems is central to mastering these competencies. This will be
accomplished through various activities (e.g., home visits, exploring community resource
contacts, cultural events participation). These activities will help the Intern understand
and incorporate the cultural identity of their students when planning curriculum for lesson
Refer to the following California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP) and draft
Teaching Performance Expectations (TPE) when completing this task:
B. Assessing Student Learning (CSTP 5)
TPE 3: Interpretation and Use of Assessment
3.15 Can clearly explain to families how to help students achieve the curriculum
F. Developing as a Professional Educator (CSTP 6)
TPE 14: Working with Others to Improve Student Learning
14.2 Establish respectful and productive relationships with families
14.3 Understand strategies for communicating with families about how to support
student academic learning
14.4 Understand varied cultural views on purposes of schooling and teacher’s role
TPE 15: Professional legal and ethical obligations
15.3 Recognize ways in which values and biases of teaching affect teaching and
learning of students
35-40 hours for task completion
1 hour pre-conference with your mentor to determine activities for this task
32 hours of participation in community and cultural experiences
½ hour written response to each activity
1 hour Culminating reflection
1 hour post-conference with your mentor to create an action plan for
modifications of classroom instruction
Year 1 will complete 32 hours focusing on a specific culture represented in your
classroom with which you have little familiarity and/or District priority.
Hours should focus on a majority community and the remaining 16 hours on a
Year One will document 16 hours focusing upon the “majority” communities
represented in your classes and on communities in which you have little
Note: Education Specialist Middle School Core DI Year One will document 16
hours focusing on a minority culture over the summer, which is due the first class
session for Year 2.
Year Two will document 16 hours focusing upon the “minority” communities
represented in your classes and on the communities represented in your school,
but not in your classes.
Part 1: Planning
Answer the following pre-reflection questions:
o Which communities of students are you planning to focus on and why?
o What methods are you planning to use to clearly explain to families how to
help students achieve the curriculum?
o What are you currently doing in your classroom that addresses the diverse
needs of these students?
o What do you currently already know about these communities?
Create a proposed plan of activities. Each activity can account for no more than 2
hours though you may be involved with the activity for a longer period.
o The exploration of the school community should include a variety of events
- Home visits
- Conferring with community members
- Advisory councils
-Talking with parents (aside from mandated parent conferences and
- Observing students outside of school to discern behavior pattern(s) that
may relate to their cultural background
- Visits to religious institutions
- Visits to social, health, educational and language-related service agencies
and other community resources
o Note: Visiting a restaurant for a snack and claiming this as a cultural
experience will not satisfy this requirement!
Part 2: Pre-Conference
Confer with your mentor to discuss activities you will participate in and elicit
feedback on your proposed activities.
Make any revisions deemed necessary.
Part 3: Interact
Interact with students, families, and community.
Document all time spent on cultural and community activities on the Reach Out
and Touch Someone form.
Collect artifacts from each activity (e.g. program sheet, admission stub,
Part 4: Post Reflection
After each activity, write a response in which you address:
What was the activity in which you participated?
How did this activity help you understand the cultural identity of your students?
How will you use the knowledge gained/acquired from this activity to improve
You may write these responses on the Activity Reflection Sheet.
Part 5: Culminating Reflection
Answer the following when you create your written reflection:
How has these experiences helped you to communicate to families regarding
What service agencies or community resources did you visit to promote and
support families to meet the needs of individual students?
In what ways have these experiences assisted you in establishing respectful and
productive relationships with families to support academic learning?
How has my community exploration helped me to redefine my role as a teacher in
a multicultural setting?
What new insights about your personal biases and values of teaching have you
gained that will affect your teaching and the learning of students?
Part 6: Post-Conference
Confer with your mentor to discuss your activities and written responses.
Calendar of proposed activities
Mentor sign-off of pre-conference meeting
Reach Out and Touch Someone Event Sheet
Evidence of cultural and/or community activities
Written responses to activities (Activity Reflection Sheet)
Mentor sign-off of the post-conference meeting