TO: State Affiliate Presidents
FROM: Andy Coons, NEA Senior Director, Center for Great Public Schools
DATE: May 10, 2021
RE: APPLY TODAY: ESPs: Supporting our Own Through Peer Mentoring
The National Education Association recognizes the vital role Education Support Professionals (ESPs) play in ensuring a great public school for every student and that’s why we’ve been working with affiliates to build ESP peer mentoring programs. Formal programs of ESP peer mentoring support ESPs at all stages of their career and at all education levels, with the specialized, targeted workplace preparation and support that is crucial for empowering ESPs and advancing their professional excellence. Mentoring can be a powerful catalyst for creating opportunities that can be transformative for both ESPs and the Association. Through strong mentoring programs, the Association can develop deeper, less transactional relationships with ESP members and build collaborative partnerships with school districts and universities focused on building the education systems that all our students and members deserve.
Do you have local Associations that are seeking peer mentoring opportunities for ESPs?
If yes, they are now invited to apply to ESPs: Supporting Our Own Through Peer Mentoring.
- Application Deadline: Monday, June 7, 2021 (10:00 AM EDT)
- Application Selection: Applicants will be notified no later than June 21, 2021
ESPs: Supporting our Own Through Peer Mentoring is an NEA-offered online blended learning course, organized around 5 modules of bi-weekly learning that include these formats:
- Self-study: Individual work completed at each team member’s own pace.
- Team assignments: Collaborative work completed together as a local Association team.
- Webinars: Group learning with all participating local Association teams.
Over 9+weeks, local Association team members will work together to develop an ESP mentoring program that will create opportunities for continuous professional improvement for their members (responsive to their local context), amplify the voice of ESPs in their workplace, and elevate ESPs as respected educators.
Course facilitators are ESP members and leaders who have built and established their own ESP mentoring programs.
For additional course information, including the course schedule and application form, visit: ESPs: Supporting Our Own Through Peer Mentoring
Need more information about ESP mentoring? Learn more at NEA ESP Peer Mentorship
If you are interested in the course but are not yet ready to start, please send an email to ESPMentoring@nea.org.
We will keep you informed of all future learning opportunities.
IN CLOSING, we want to share a few WHY statements from local Associations (previous course participants) that are currently developing or managing ESP mentoring programs. These statements tell us why they were inspired to do this work and the values that they lead with.
“To empower, educate and equip staff so that they are confident, prepared and supported while educating the whole child.”
-Troy Education Association, Illinois
“To empower others so we can stand together. To help others find their voice so they know how to advocate for themselves and as a group.
To protect the rights of members. Planning for the future. Making a difference.”
-Michigan State University Administrative Professional Association, Michigan
“To create a sustainable and equitable peer mentoring system for all job families so that all PXU ESPs will be knowledgeable,
proficient, supported and valued, creating a positive working and learning environment for ALL!”
-Phoenix Union High School Classified Employees Association, Arizona
ESP State Staff Coordinators