Education Support Professionals Help Keep Students Healthy, Safe, Engaged and Challenged

education support

Education support professionals help keep students healthy, safe, engaged and challenged so they are ready to learn. These dedicated employees also provide administrative and other school support functions that make schools run smoothly and effectively.

PSEA represents more than 27,000 education support professionals across the nation. In honor of American Education Week, take a closer look at these hardworking members and what they do.

Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year Award

Every school community in Minnesota has dedicated professionals who spend their day supporting students and educators. These individuals may work as paraprofessionals/education assistants, secretarial/clerical, custodian, food service workers, bus drivers, maintenance and trades, security, health services, technology specialists or other roles.

During American Education Week, November, each year, Education Minnesota honors one ESP with this statewide award. The winner receives a $1,000 honorarium and an iPad.

The selection committee focuses on nominees who enhance the image of ESPs in their schools, union and community. They also need to be good employees with a strong professional record and make a positive impact on the schools and students.

Education Support Team (EST)

An EST is one part of a school’s educational support system (ESS). This team works together as a “think tank” to help solve the puzzle of what is going on with a student. They determine what they think might help them be more successful in school and monitor their progress.

The EST has diverse expertise and meets regularly to develop student plans. These plans may include accommodations, instructional strategies and curriculum adjustments.

EST meetings also result in assigned action steps for the students and their teachers to follow. The EST is a collaborative team that relies on data to monitor a student’s academic, social emotional and behavioral progress.

The EST works with children who have challenging behaviours or differing learning abilities. This includes students who are referred by other members of the school and/or from parents/guardians.

On-the-Job Training

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is an experiential learning method in which employees learn on the job, under the guidance of a supervisor, coworker or professional trainer. This type of training can be beneficial for workers in many different careers and industries.

On the Job Training is one of the least expensive and time-consuming training methods, which makes it a good option for companies to consider when deciding how to train new employees. In contrast, eLearning courses and other formal instruction methods require companies to spend more money, as they have to set up classrooms or hire trainers to teach.

Employees who learn on the job also tend to be more productive. They’re more likely to complete tasks in a timely manner and are less likely to get stuck when they need help.

On-the-Job Training is also very efficient for businesses, as it reduces the need to hire new trainers and re-task equipment dedicated to production. In addition, it allows your company to use its existing staff and tools to train your employees.


Referencing is an important part of academic work. It puts your work in context, demonstrates the breadth and depth of your research, and acknowledges other people’s ideas.

When referencing, you must acknowledge the source by giving full details of where the material came from. This is often done in a reference or bibliography at the end of your document.

Typically this will include the title of the piece, the author and place of publication. For books this will also include the edition if it is not the first and page numbers may need to be included.

Schools should ensure that references are provided confidentially and are in line with any data protection policy they have adopted. This is particularly important if it is considered necessary to do so in order to comply with employment law or any other legal obligations.

Education Support Professionals Help Keep Students Healthy, Safe, Engaged and Challenged
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