Through the eyes of Sofi, a middle school student, see how Education Support Professionals (ESP) make a difference in the lives of their students, both in and out of the classroom.
National ESP Day honors and recognizes the contributions education support professionals (ESPs) make to public education. It is a time to strengthen support and show respect for ESPs, who are equal and essential partners in public education.
In 1987, the NEA Representative Assembly called for the creation of a special way to honor the contributions of public school support staff. National Education Support Personnel Day was established and celebrated that year. Since then, it has been observed on the Wednesday during American Education Week.
NEA’s National Council of Education Support Professionals (NCESP) successfully campaigned at the 2002 Representative Assembly to change ESPs’ formal name from “Educational Support Personnel” to “Education Support Professionals.”
The name change reflects a growing pride in the essential role ESPs play in creating great public schools for every American student. From instructional assistants and paraeducators to office workers, health and student services employees, and food services workers; from custodians, maintenance workers and bus drivers to security guards, technology specialists, and skilled trades workers, today’s support professionals provide invaluable services that enable students to learn in positive, supportive environments.