Happy ESP Day!
November 20, 2019
November 20, 2019
We couldn’t educate our children the way they deserve to be educated if not for the essential, everyday work of our Education Support Professionals. This day in American Education Week is set aside to salute them, and we’re proud to have them on board with VEA.
From the “Touching Base With” feature in the Virginia Journal of Education, here is a closer look at just three of the ESPs who make it happen in our schools:
Ultimately, what I like most is being able to be a positive influence on young people. It starts and ends there. Everything I do, from going over math to coaching high school basketball, has to do with a young person’s confidence and health going forward.
Getting involved on the political level has been incredible. I’ve always had opinions on the future of education; however, prior to joining the Union it was just me sitting in a room with a couple of people talking. Now I talk with somebody and I have 40,000 people behind me. After I saw how everything worked, I became the “squeaky wheel” and got things done by talking with politicians about living wage and social justice issues.
Also, being part of the Union has given me a plethora (good word!) of networking opportunities. Through conventions, seminars, and committees I’ve established relationships that will last a lifetime. It’s been reinforced that we’re all in this together. Let’s do this and unapologetically advocate for our students…right now!
I’m a Technical Support Specialist, available to all students and staff at Rippon Middle School and Dale City Elementary School in Prince William County, and I get to see firsthand how technology influences learning. I love seeing students working in a fully-functionally computer lab, and I enjoy giving input about technology purchases that directly affect student success.
Membership has offered unique opportunities for leadership, professional development, and networking.
I’ve attended both state and national conferences. The NEA Leaders for Tomorrow was especially amazing because it helped me identify my leadership and communication styles, which is a great help at staff and board meetings.
As an Association member and leader, I can network not only in Virginia but across the U.S., helping to address member concerns, and advocating for change. I’m available to members as a resource, because together we are stronger.
Being an Association member changed my life.
My career has challenged me in ways I never expected, touched my heart profoundly, and allowed me to build deep connections with so many people, both colleagues and families, that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the honor of knowing. I see tremendous resilience and healing in our families, and I love that each of my team members works toward the same goal.
I like that the VEA is a collection of professionals who have the common objective of promoting and improving education. Being a member makes me feel bonded with others as we advocate and share challenges and triumphs.