Education support professionals (ESPs) – paraprofessionals, food service workers, nurses, aides, technicians, custodians, administrative assistants and so many other professionals – keep our schools running and our students learning. ESPs keep students physically and emotionally healthy and safe, engage students so they feel connected to their school community, and support students who require extra assistance.
Unfortunately when school districts make budget cuts, ESPs are some of the first positions targeted. Learn more about this and other issues ESPs face nationally on the National Education Association’s (NEA) webpage for ESPs.
NEA ESP Professional Growth Continuum
ESPs play a key role in ensuring student success, and their positive impact can be enhanced when there are clear expectations, when they are valued, and when they have opportunities for professional growth. To help ESPs reach their professional potential, NEA developed the ESP Professional Growth Continuum (PGC) through participatory action research and with the active involvement of ESPs and other stakeholders. The PGC provides clear pathways for professional learning and growth throughout the careers of ESPs. Check out the NEA website here for more information and resources on the ESP Professional Growth Continuum.
The NEA Foundation’s Innovation Grants provide an opportunity for teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty to develop and implement innovations that significantly improve student learning. Eligible applicants may submit a proposal at any time.
NEA hosts an ESP Conference that is designed to provide participants with the tools they need to build skills specific to their careers, build strong internal and external relationships, build stronger locals, organize members and enhance their ability to positively influence student achievement.
The NEA Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) program was created to train future ESP leaders in leadership attitudes, skills, and knowledge. The overarching goal is to develop skilled ESP leaders across the 50 states. Each year 20 ESP members are selected to participate in the program through an extremely competitive process.
NEA Academy provides online courses to meet professional development and continuing education needs of all NEA members.
The National Council for Education Support Professionals (NCESP) works within the National Education Association to represent the specific interests of education support professionals. Any NEA ESP member is eligible for NCESP membership.
Resume Writing for ESPs: Learn how to market your skills through writing. This site provides writing tips for professionals that can generate more interviews and higher salaries. Resume writing books and websites are also listed.