ESP Community Conversations: Professional Development for ESPs

Thursday, February 16, 2023 7:00 PM –  8:30 PM ET

To ensure a great public education for every student, education support professionals (ESPs) want and deserve access to high-quality professional development and support at every stage of their careers. Join us for a 1.5-hour virtual networking session that will connect you with fellow NEA ESP members across the country to discuss your professional development experiences and the resources and support you need for professional growth.


2023 NEA ESP National Conference

Joy, Justice, Excellence: The Strength of Educators. The Brilliance of Students. The Power of Community.

Good news! NEA is now accepting registrations for the 2023 NEA Education Support
Professionals (ESPs) National Conference, scheduled for March 24-26, in Seattle, Washington. Funding may be available at your Illinois Education Region office and union local to help cover expenses.

The ESP Conference is certain to be a special event. With 70+ sessions led by ESPs, NEA
partners and NEA staff, this conference is a premier opportunity for professional leadership,
development, and community. During the conference, we will also honor ESP of the Year
nominees from across the country and announce this year’s NEA ESP of the Year awardee.
Complete ESP Conference information – including the agenda, workshops, link to registration
for self-funded (by self, state, local) attendees, link to reserve a hotel room, health and safety
updates, and more – can be found at www.nea.org/espconference.

Please reach out to Amber Parker (aparker@nea.org) or Jessica Brinkley (jdbrinkley@nea.org) if
you have any questions.


Free Virtual Webinar Especially for Education Support Professionals

Social Emotional Skills for ESPs with 321 InsightThis Social Emotional Skills for ESPs session will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 5-6 p.m.  Presenter Sue Lyons from 321 Insight will host. During this session, IEA ESP members will focus on the five CASEL SEL competencies. ESPs will understand SEL and learn how and why these skills benefit educators and students. Providing ESPs five practical and applicable ways they can support the development of SEL skills in students.

Register here! Please contact Mary Jane Morris with any questions.


ESP Mentoring Training Opportunity

Do you have ideas for advancing ESP leadership and professional excellence?

NEA is offering a special workshop to build strong peer mentoring pilot programs for ESPs. Selected teams of 3-5 ESPs will be funded by NEA to convene in Salt Lake City, Utah!

Over one and a half days, teams will work together to build their own unique programs that empower ESPs in the workplace and Association.



Bring your voice to the table!!

IEA-NEA Spring Election Information

Nominations are now open for the NEA RA State, Retired and Aspiring Educator Delegate elections as well as for sectional representative positions on the IEA Board of Directors and the ESP, Higher Ed and Retired Councils.  Hard copy nominations should be arriving in member mailboxes the first week in January and a link to online nominations is on the IEA website.

Online nominations close at 4 pm on February 15, 2023 and hard copy nominations must also be received by this date.  If you have any questions, contact the Governance Elections/Fair Share Paraprofessional, Kim Trader at kim.trader@ieanea.org.

More 2023 NEA Representative Assembly Information

July 2nd – July 6th

The 2023 NEA Representative Assembly will be held July 2-6, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.

The NEA Representative Assembly is the largest democratic deliberative assembly in the world. During this annual meeting, our members help set policy and chart the direction of NEA business through participation on various committees, constituencies, caucuses, and leadership groups.


You’re Invited!

Join the ESP Council for a virtual roundtable on Jan. 11. New faces welcome! This is a great opportunity to meet IEA executive and NEA director candidates in the upcoming spring election.

Wednesday  |  Jan. 11  |  7 p.m.

This will be a meet and greet format.


2022-24 Strategic Framework Virtual Engagement, January 5th

Happy Holidays and warm wishes for the New Year

I wanted to share the upcoming Virtual Budget Engagement on January 5, 2023, at 8:30pm EST.

Attached, please find the 2022-2024 Strategic Framework. The QR code at the bottom will direct you to the NEA Strategic Framework and Budget site<https://www.nea.org/…/nea-strategic-framework-budget>, where you and your members can view video descriptions of each objective prior to the budget engagement, resulting in more time to collaborate, answer questions, and address concerns.

NEA Budget Engagement
Date: January 5, 2023
Time: 8:30pm ET
Zoom: Please Register

Strategic Questions:

1. If we are wildly successful, what outcomes might we expect to see nationally from NEA pursuing these Objectives?

2. What might progress on these Objectives look like for you, your colleagues, and your students in your local or your worksite?

3. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

In the near future, you will receive a template of the meeting flow.

If you have any members who unfortunately cannot make the date, please remind them that they can always provide input at www.nea.org/budget

We are so excited about this opportunity to engage with our members!


2023 is almost here…it’s the perfect time to reflect on what 2022 has brought

As I sit here and reflect on this past year, I am proud of how I’ve grown, stretched, and have done things I never thought I was capable of doing, but I also realize that I have much to improve. Yes, I want to eat healthier, lose some weight, and exercise more, but I also want to be a better me. I feel best when I’m helping or doing something that helps others. So my goal is to continue to be stretched, to continue to seek situations that may be uncomfortable but will help me grow emotionally, spiritually, and as a leader and advocate.

You all are amazing, and I’m proud to represent so many talented and dedicated people. It’s okay to brag about yourself a little…Tell me somethings you accomplished during this past year that makes you proud…and one goal you have for this next year.

Comment below


Did You Know….?

The Education Support Professional Council and Illinois Education Association collaboratively wrote the language for House Resolution 0077. This resolution called to find solutions to salary parity, quality professional development and access to health benefits for ESP members. In April 2021 the resolution was unanimously passed by the Illinois General Assembly. This laid the foundation on which we are building the rESPect Campaign!


I hope all your wishes came true.

We hope you enjoyed our #12DaysOfUnionism series 🔔🎶 !

At 135,000+ members strong, we are the largest union in Illinois. We harness the collective power of teachers, ESPs, higher education faculty and staff, students and retirees to advocate for strong public schools– because every student deserves a high quality public education no matter where they live.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! Enjoy this time with your loved ones.

#MerryChristmas #HappyKwanzaa #HappyHanukkah #IEANEA