ESP Mentoring ESP – I need your help

My local was chosen to participate in the National Education Association ESP mentoring program. Myself, the ESP vice-president of my local and our Uniserve director will be traveling to Washington DC in January. We will be working with a NEA mentoring team that will help us create a framework for an ESP program that will work specifically for our local and school district. This is where I need your help.

Do you have an ESP mentoring program in your district? What works? What doesn’t?

Do you wish you had an ESP mentoring program? What would you like it to look like? What topics would you like to see covered in this program, ie autism education, behavior management?

Please fill out the information below and help me help my team create the best framework for our ESPs.


Education Support Professionals

About ESPs

The 510,000 Educational Support Professional members of the National Education Association and the 29,500 ESP members of the Illinois Education Association take care of our children every day and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in our schools and classrooms. We are truly the unsung heroes of public education.

We are the…

  • school bus driver who greets your child with a warm “hello” and delivers your child safely to school
  • cafeteria worker who gives your daughter a warm, healthy meal
  • paraeducator who provides your child with a little extra help in the classroom
  • school nurse who comforts your sick child
  • office assistant who makes sure your son’s records are up to date
  • technician who wires the classroom computers
  • custodian who works to keep the school environment safe and clean
  • security professional who help keep students and school employees safe.

Please click the above link to visit your IEA ESP page for a wealth of information and tons of resources for all ESPs.


‘I Didn’t Know It Had a Name’: Secondary Traumatic Stress and Educators

“Whether you’re a teacher, paraprofessional, counselor, or school resource officer, every staff member cares deeply about students. And that means being exposed to the traumas students bring into school every day, including poverty, grief, family problems, racism, drug abuse. The emotional and physical toll is often severe. Even if they have not endured trauma themselves, educators can begin exhibiting symptoms similar to those of their students – withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue.”

Secondary Stress in Educators

Don’t Miss These Great Opportunities Offered by IEA/NEA


Share with Certified PreK-12

Professional Development: Illinois State University is offering convenient online workshops this winter and spring on a variety of topics for K-12 teachers. Check out the flier for more information.

Share with All Members

  • ***NEW***Winter Book Study begins Jan. 6: Our next book will be Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben- Shahar. Dr. Ben-Shahar helps readers implement principles of positive psychology in their daily lives to reduce stress, feel more fulfilled, more connected, and happier. This is a great book to read (or re-read) as we begin a new year. Dr. Diana Zaleski, IEA Professional Development Director, will moderate the weekly reading assignments and discussions for this book study on NEA edCommunities. (Directions to access NEA edCommunities)
  • Prosocial Skills Training Online Course

Prosocial Skills Training is a targeted intervention for adolescents that is consistent with the restorative practices framework. This intervention empowers youth to take responsibility for their behavior and learn healthier ways to interact with others. This convenient online course will begin January 6, and allow IEA members to participate from across the entire state through interactive discussions and activities. This course is for members who have already participated in restorative practices training.

The course will last 4 weeks and will require approximately two hours of your time each week to participate. This means that upon completion of this course you will receive 8 clock hours. All of the course materials will be provided through the online platform we will be using for the course.

This is an asynchronous course which means you may participate in each week’s discussions and activities at a time that is convenient for you. The goal of this training is to provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to incorporate prosocial skills training into your school and/or district’s multi-tiered system of support. We will conclude the course with a live online component to further discuss and practice what we have learned.

The course will be facilitated by Dr. Diana Zaleski, IEA Instructional Resource and Professional Development Director. Please register online and we will send you an invitation to join the online course. For more information, please contact Amanda.Plunkett@ieanea.org.

Note that space is limited to 25 participants per section of each online course. If the course is full when you register please contact Amanda.Plunkett@ieanea.org, and she will add you to a waiting list for the next course. If we get at least 15 people who have indicated interest after a course is full we will open a second section of the course.

  • Jan. 13-14: Restorative Practices & Prosocial Skills – IEA Carterville Office: Interested in learning more about non-exclusionary student discipline? Register today for one or both of our training opportunities. On day one we will learn about restorative practices as a straightforward problem-solving framework that can be used as an alternative to exclusionary discipline. On day two we will learn about prosocial skills training as an intervention designed to promote prosocial behavior in adolescents using techniques to develop social skills, emotional control, and moral reasoning. Register today! (Promotional flier)
  • Self-Care for Educators – IEA Bloomington Office: Working in a classroom evokes moments of tension, rigidity and stress that accumulate and interfere with your physical, mental and emotional health. As an educator you are often helping others in your life: students, coworkers, family, etc. Experience how making yourself a priority through better use of your body benefits both you and your students. In this experiential workshop you will learn how to use your body more effectively throughout the day, improve your ease in and out of the classroom, reduce pain and maintain your physical acuity. Register today! (Promotional flier)
  • Feb. 8: Assessment Literacy – IEA Effingham Office: Understanding why we assess, what we assess, how we assess, and how we communicate the results of assessment is crucial to informing instructional decision making and improving student learning. This hands-on workshop provides a framework for maximizing your classroom assessments and engaging your students in meaningful assessment practices. Participants are encouraged to bring their classroom assessments. Register today! (Promotional flier)