Education support is a broad range of educational strategies that may provide students with supplemental instruction, practice, and guidance. Schools often develop their own support programs to address a specific set of student needs.
Education support workers work in schools, office buildings and other workplaces. They include paraeducators, secretaries, custodians, and bus drivers.
Education Support Professionals
Education support professionals are the people who drive the buses, clean the buildings, prepare the meals, and bandage the scraped knees of students in public and private schools across America. They make up over 40 percent of a school’s staff, yet they often go unnoticed. That’s why National Education Support Professionals Day was made to celebrate them.
ESPs are the people who interact with every student at their school, and they can impact students in both minor and major ways. They help to build a positive learning environment and influence students’ learning journeys.
In this role, you may work with children who have emotional or behavioural challenges. This can require patience and empathy as you work with them to ensure they feel heard and understood. You’ll also need to communicate effectively with a range of other educational and non-educational staff. This includes teachers and leadership staff. To develop these skills, attend one of the ESP specific skill training workshops available on ZOOM.
Education Support Administrators
Education administrators manage or direct the administration, programs and services of a school or higher educational institution. They may also perform research and educational activities. The majority of jobs in this field are found at colleges, universities and junior or community colleges.
Education support administrators plan and develop educational standards and policies; oversee managers, assistant principals, guidance counselors, teachers, librarians, coaches and other personnel. They may also provide training, develop academic programs, administer career counseling and other student services, conduct research and prepare budgets.
Most education support administrators work full time during the school day and receive several weeks off for school and federal holidays. They generally report to the school principal or dean of students. They may assist teachers in creating education and lesson plans, educate students and the public about their job duties, and conduct classroom observations and make notes to improve teaching techniques. Some may also perform general office tasks such as filing and copying.
Education Support Specialists
ESPs are the heart of every school, keeping kids safe and supported so they can learn. Whether they are paraeducators, administrative assistants, custodians or bus drivers, they are the backbone of the school system.
They provide classroom support to teachers and students, create education and lesson plans, suggest teaching techniques to increase educational effectiveness, and more. Typically, they work full-time during the school year and take time off for school holidays. They report to the principal and other members of the school staff.
A successful education support specialist candidate possesses a bachelor’s degree and extensive knowledge of learning differences and strategies. They can also create supportive, trusting relationships with parents and teachers while fostering an environment that cultivates student success.
Education Support Teachers
Education support teachers work with students as part of a teaching team to provide learning and emotional support. They also assist with a range of general administrative tasks and can work on either a full-time or part-time basis depending on their needs and school arrangements.
These education support professionals are the backbone of our school systems. They keep kids safe, happy and engaged and give them the tools they need to thrive in their classes.
Children with disabilities and behavioural challenges often need additional assistance that teachers may not be able to provide while instructing a class. Education support officers are able to spend time in breakout rooms with individual children, offering them the support they need to manage their behaviours and learn.
When education support staff working in classroom support roles receive professional learning, coaching and feedback, they are able to better implement teacher and student-led learning interventions and improve the wellbeing of their students. Schools can use the KIS in these Guidelines to identify and prioritise actions within their School Strategic Plans and Annual Implementation Plans.