Education Support – The Backbone of Every School

Education support is a UK charity for teachers, trainees, serving teachers, heads, and education professionals. It champions good mental health and wellbeing at work.

School support staff – paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, and transportation workers – are essential to making public schools work. They deserve resources and respect. They shape and enrich students’ learning journeys.

Observe and Collaborate

Education support staff (ESP) are the backbone of every school. They are everywhere in the halls, classrooms, cafeterias, and offices – working to make teaching and learning possible for all students.

Collaboration with specialists can look different for each educator based on school policies and individual schedules, but it’s important to find a way to communicate regularly about student progress, challenges, and successes. Some educators choose to participate in structured meetings between a general education teacher and the specialist, while others may choose to meet on a more casual basis.

In addition to communicating regularly about student progress, it’s also a good idea for teachers and ESP to share their knowledge of teaching and learning with one another. This can happen in the form of formal collaborative meetings or informal conversations during breaks between classes. This will help cultivate a supportive culture that values each other’s work.

Share Knowledge

Using the theory of knowledge acquisition known as Bloom’s taxonomy, sharing creates more depth in learning. Creating resources takes time, but it’s an investment that employees can use again and again to learn and improve their performance in the workplace. Sharing knowledge also helps employees take their career to the next level.

One way to share knowledge is through a professional learning community (PLC). These are groups of teachers who meet on a regular basis to discuss teaching best practices and strategies. They collaborate and work together to improve student outcomes.

The MSEA fights to protect and advance the interests of education support professionals, or ESPs, who play vital roles in our schools and communities. From the classroom to the cafeteria, ESPs deserve respect and decent wages. ESPs are the backbone of every school. They’re the bus drivers, secretaries, custodians, and food service workers who keep our schools running smoothly. They make crucial observations about students’ needs and day-to-day classroom occurrences, and they bring invaluable experience to the workplace.

Be Inclusive

Getting to know students’ backgrounds and their families is important. Teachers should ask about preferred names, other languages spoken, and hobbies and interests. They should also make it a point to collaborate with special education staff so that they can offer a full range of support services for their students, including accommodation plans and academic interventions.

Instructors should model inclusive language and avoid using exclusionary language, even if unintentional. They can do this by ensuring that their lesson materials have a variety of perspectives represented, including ethnic and racial representation; expanding reading lists to include nonwhite authors; varying case studies and lecture examples to incorporate different gender identities; and using inclusive pronouns.

Inclusive education requires substantial resources at the school, local and national levels to address issues like teacher training, building refurbished facilities and providing accessible learning materials. But research shows that a strong culture of inclusion can help to foster more tolerant and understanding attitudes toward people with disabilities and other marginalized groups.


Educating students is a team effort. The people who drive the buses, clean the buildings, cook the meals and bandage scraped knees are a crucial part of any school’s staff and should not be forgotten. National Education Support Professionals Day is a day to honor them for all they do.

NJEA is proud to stand up for the interests of ESPs from local to national levels. ESP members count on NJEA to champion their jobs and careers, including protecting their job security, pension and health benefits and advancing their pay and working conditions.

ESPs are the secretaries, classroom aides, custodians, bus drivers and other transportation workers, food service employees, janitorial and maintenance workers and paraprofessionals that make schools work. This year’s celebration was held on the Wednesday of American Education Week. ESPs are dedicated to both their jobs and their communities and deserve a day to be celebrated and recognized for all they do. You can show your support by posting on social media using #EducationSupportProfessionalsDay and writing to your elected Federal or State representatives and senators asking for a proclamation for National ESP Day.

Education Support – The Backbone of Every School
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