ESP Insider Update

Elevating ESPs

IEA Education Support Professionals

Three important Surveys for ESPs

1. ESP Pathway to Teaching: The Illinois State Board of Education is looking at new pathways for people to become teachers and is bringing together stakeholders to discuss the issue. The new pathway would help increase the pool of teachers, as well as increase the diversity in that pool. IEA is conducting a survey of our support personnel to see how many would be interested in that alternative pathway if it opened. Please complete the ESP Pathway to Teaching survey.

2. Supporting Students During the COVID Crisis: Please complete the ESPs Supporting Students During the COVID Crisis survey. As a reminder, you can fill it out as many times as you would like.

3. 2020 Educator Well-Being Survey: The Illinois Education Association and the University of Illinois Springfield have collaborated in the development of this survey to examine how the climate and culture of schools impacts the quality of educators’ lives. Please complete the 2020 Educator Well-Being survey.

ESP leadership training opportunity

There are a few open spots for the IEA-NEA ESP Emerging Leaders Academy (ESP-ELA):

  • Trains current and future leaders on the leadership attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to enhance your ability to be a visible and vocal advocate at the local, regional, state and national level. 
  • Topics covered include: what makes an effective leader; how to organize, build and maintain membership; how to work with difficult members and how to create an effective local organization. Learn more about the IEA, NEA, unions and unionism. 
  • This (currently remote) learning program starts in mid-October. For more information, email Crystal Bush or call her at 847-794-5204.

Election 2020

The Fair Tax: Educators across Illinois are supporting the Fair Tax Amendment this November. Sign up for a Saturday virtual volunteer shift to participate in outreach opportunities such as writing letters to the editor, making calls or sending texts.

The Illinois Policy Institute continues to spread lies about the Fair Tax. Watch the video – IPI Lies: The Fair Tax.

IEA Recommended Candidates: Go to for a list of candidates recommended by your fellow IEA members.

#IEAVotes: Voting for public education means voting for candidates who will support our students, our public schools and our union. Learn more at

ESP awards and scholarships

2021 ESP of the Year
This award is meant to emphasize the contributions of education support professionals to their schools, their association and their communities. Deadline to submit nominations is Dec. 18. Only online nomination forms will be accepted.

The ESP Council created the ESP STAR program to allow IEA local leaders, members and the board of directors to recognize and publicize the good work of their ESP members across the state. Nominate a special ESP with the online nomination formNominations can be submitted monthly.

$2,500 Burroughs Education Scholarship
This scholarship opportunity is available for college bound seniors with a parent or legal guardian who is a school employee. Apply online by Jan. 31. Download and share the flier.

Member benefits

NEA Member Benefits – New Discount Marketplace launches Oct. 19
Instead of earning points, members will earn cash back when they shop and save on brand-name merchandise from over 2,500 top retailers, online stores, and local restaurants and shops. More information to come!

Educator Savings from Access (an IEA partner)
Login to Members Only and access your discounts and deals today! If you don’t have it yet, download the MyDeals mobile app!•  App Store•  GooglePlay
IEA Connect call center
If you have questions about your benefits or need help accessing them, you can contact IEA Connect by phone, email or live chat, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

ESPs welcome students back to school

Members of Troy Education Association
Members of Troy Education Association
Members of District U-46 Educational Assistants – transition staff

Important upcoming dates

Nov. 6 – 7: Ethnic Minority and Emerging Leadership Training (virtual)

Nov. 14: ESP Council Meeting (virtual)

Nov. 16 – 20: American Education Week

Nov. 18:  Education Support Professionals Day

Nov. 19:  ESP Roundtable 
Topic: Bargaining in the new normal

Stay connected with other ESPs

ESP Reporter Form

We are working to recognize ESP contributions and actions through the ESP Insider. When you participate in an event involving ESPs or hear of such an event, please let us know by completing the ESP Insider Reporter form.