When you think of Education Support Professionals, most people will think of teachers. However, the truth is that they make up the people who drive the buses, clean the buildings, prepare the meals, and bandage scraped knees in public and private schools all over the country. Since they make up over 40 percent of the school’s staff, most of the time their professions get overlooked. Because of the long work hours and main activity they have with student safety, Education Support Professionals Day is made to give thanks to them for their hard work and services to their schools and students.
History of Education Support Professionals Day
ESP Day was made to honor and recognize the contributions education support professionals (ESPs) make to public education. It takes place during American Education Week, a week of holidays and celebrations founded by the National Education Association. According to an NEA book pamphlet, in 1987 the NEA Representative Assembly called for the creation of a special way to honor the contributions of public school support staff. Because of that call, the National Education Support Personnel Day was established and celebrated that year.
In 2002, they changed the name of the holiday, from “Educational Support Personnel” to “Education Support Professionals.” to better showcase the pride and essential role ESPs play in public education. According to the NEAToday, A recent NEA survey of its ESP members found that 80 percent work full time, 72 percent work in a school building, 53 percent provide care to students with special needs, and 61 percent give money (an average of $170 per year) out of their own pockets to help students with things such as classroom supplies and field trips. This intensive and expensive time ESPs take as a result deserve thanks during this holiday.
How to Celebrate Education Support Professionals Day
One big thing you can do is send a request for a proclamation of the holiday. Decide on which of your elected officials you would like to ask to sponsor a proclamation for National ESP Day. You can send the request to a Federal or state representative, Federal or state senator, Governor, Mayor, or City Council member. Once you send your elected officials a letter requesting a proclamation for National ESP Day, then you can wait for their response. You can also post on social media your support for ESP day and tell about it to your friends using #EducationSupportProfessionalsDay. You can also invite your local newspaper or radio and TV station to take part in the day as well by sending letters to the editor and or manager of the company. You can also thank people you know who are ESPs by giving them thank you cards and gift cards.