Who are Education Support Professionals?
Education support professionals (ESP) are public school district employees who support school functionality, classroom learning, health and wellness, maintain quality schools and more. The National Education Association (NEA) has identified nine main job groups that include more than 300 categories of ESP positions, including:
Paraeducators: instructional and non-instructional support
Clerical services: secretarial, clerical and administrative support
Custodial and maintenance services: custodial, building and grounds maintenance
Food services: food planning, preparation and service
Skilled trades services: trades, crafts and machine operations
Health and student services: nursing, health and therapy support and community, family, parent and welfare services
Security services: school resource, guard and security specialties
Technical services: computer, audiovisual and language technical support and media, public relations, writing and art specialties
Many of the responsibilities of ESPs require direct contact with kids, parents and community members. The role of the education support professional supports student learning and growth in healthy, safe school environments.
ISTA hosts an annual conference for ESPs. Additionally, consider applying or nominating an ESP for the ISTA ESP of the Year award.
All ESPs in Indiana are eligible to join ISTA and NEA. There are 25 local associations throughout the state, and many ESP members join as individuals if there is no collective bargaining unit available in their school district. ESPs interested in joining ISTA should connect with the association representative (AR) in their building or contact the Member Resource Center at 844-ASK-ISTA (275-4782).