Education support services enable individuals to access the knowledge they need to improve their lives. It helps them gain self-confidence and build a strong foundation for their future.
Education support professionals are the backbone of our school systems. From paraeducators and administrative assistants to custodians and bus drivers, these school employees are dedicated to keeping students safe and supported so they can learn.
Education Support Specialists
ESPs are often the face of schools and work alongside teachers to keep students safe, ensure they’re well fed and transport them between buildings. They are represented by nine career families: Clerical services, Custodial and maintenance services, Food service, Health and student services, Paraeducators, Security services and Skilled trades.
Education support specialists are a critical part of the school system, and every interaction they have with students has an impact on both their day-to-day lives at school and their learning journeys. From a quick exchange with the custodian to an IEP meeting with a paraprofessional, ESPs are in the midst of it all and can make or break a classroom environment.
Senior Specialists are responsible for advocating on behalf of scholars requiring Special Education support. They analyze a variety of data, including class assessments, specialized evaluations and teacher reports to build and present cases for scholars to receive the mandated support they deserve. They also communicate with scholars regularly through texts, emails and phone calls and attend college visits to provide meaningful guidance and direction.
Education Support Administrators
The heart of education is in the classroom, but educational administrators keep schools and other institutions running smoothly. They manage or direct administrative services and programs, and conduct research or educational activities. They typically work full time and receive weeks off for school and federal holidays.
Administrators oversee teacher evaluations, curriculum development and improvement, student discipline policies, and professional learning opportunities for teachers. They also conduct classroom observations and make notes to help improve teaching techniques. They may also perform general office tasks like filing and copying.
Higher education administrators help students and the public with academic, financial and career-related issues and concerns. They may work in the offices of admissions, fundraising, quality assurance or marketing and communications. They also direct educational programs in correctional institutions, businesses and museums. Some administrative staff members also provide job training for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders who want to re-enter the workforce. They may work in the offices of career or academic counseling, special education or student services.
Education Support Teachers
Education plays a vital role in fostering intellectual growth and improving self-esteem. It allows individuals to build a stable foundation for their future. However, this is not possible without adequate support.
Education support teachers help students with learning difficulties by assisting them in class and providing emotional guidance. They also carry out general administrative duties. They can work full-time or part-time, depending on school arrangements.
Education support professionals make up the backbone of school systems and are a vital component of a teacher’s classroom experience. From custodial staff and cafeteria workers to secretaries, transportation and security personnel and more, the work of these dedicated school employees makes a difference in both minor and major ways. MSEA is working to ensure that ESPs receive decent wages, better working conditions and respect for the important roles they play.
Education Support Officers
Education support officers work with students on a 1-2-1 basis or small group of young adults. Generally, they have a nationally recognised qualification in education support, including levels 2 and 3 teaching assistant and manual handling qualifications.
Managing student records, organising resources and assisting with classroom activities are some of the administrative tasks that education support staff fulfil in this role. Rostering school staff on playground or bus duty is also a common responsibility.
Education support workers who perform classroom support roles are important members of the school community. They are vital to a school’s inclusive education practices and their efforts can have a direct impact on student outcomes. It is important that education support staff have regular opportunities for professional learning, feedback, coaching and mentoring. For further information, refer to the Education Support Staff Working in Classroom Support Roles Guidelines.