As ESP we often are treated like we are a dime a dozen profession. Not worth the time and energy to support or respect. Well today I started a journey. A journey that my IEA (Illinois Education Association) president suggested I apply to take. Wow, yes, how do you say no to that? A journey that NEA believes ESPs deserve. A journey that I’m told will test and stretch me. I believe it…its day one and for me to step this far out of my comfort zone, to fly across the country in to LAX by myself is extremely unnerving but also so exciting! I will update this blog post as the weekend continues. I hope you follow and will be encouraged that you are apart of something great, something that sees greatness in you as an awesome ESP.
Day 1 NEA ESP Leadership Institute: Started early as I flew from Chicago to Los Angeles. I arrived in LAX nervous but excited for this weekend. As we came together for the first time it was evident to see how much love, strength, and personality was in the room. So much love for their students, their schools, and communities. I saw the strength of each ESP as we got up in front of everyone and told our “Why” of why we do what we do. Tears were spilled as well as so much laughter. The personality in the room…lets just say this will never be boring! So many hilarious amazing new “sisters”. I look forward to tomorrow as we continue this journey.
Day 2: NEA ESP Leadership Institute: Wow, today was a long but amazing day. My interpretation of today’s theme was self-awareness. It was an extremely reflective, and challenging day. We were challenged through many activities to discover our true self, our sense of self, self-image, and self esteem. We learned that if you want to make a change and develop new skills, you have to know where you are so you know which skills you need to develop that will help you get to where you need to be.
One quote from today that has resonated with me is: Start were you are, with what you have. Make something of it and never be satisfied. – George Washington Carver (My interpretation: Start with who you are, with the skills you have, do the work, and never stop learning)
Day 3: NEA ESP Leadership Institute: Growth and self reflection was a continued theme today. We tested our own ideas and beliefs on our leadership qualities to see where we are. Am I passive, assertive, or aggressive? What are my weaknesses? I feel a huge difference today with my confidence during discussions and activities. I feel more comfortable sharing my thoughts and ideas. This class of 20 ladies have come together from all across the country, most extremely unsure of what to expect during this weekends training. We are ladies from different experiences, cultures, and races and we have become so close in such a short amount of time. I love my NEA ESPLI 2020 sisters! Bring on tomorrow!!