Education Support Professionals Day takes place on the third Wednesday in November — November 20 this year. When we think of education support, teachers come to mind first. In reality, there’s an army of people supporting our children every step of the way. They’re employees who work long hours, navigating multiple bus routes, tending lovingly to cuts and scrapes, repairing school buildings, keeping classrooms clean, and preparing healthy meals for students. Whether inside or outside classrooms, these incredible people are sources of emotional and social support to children. Their efforts often go unrecognized. But without them, the education system would fall apart. Education Support Professionals Day celebrates the unsung heroes and indispensable partners in every child’s education. We also appreciate those who support education by helping to fulfill the necessity of funds. Head over to Scholaroo to find a comprehensive list of scholarships that will help you support yourself and others in the future.
Today, we highlight the crucial work educational support professionals do for our children and school communities. Let’s thank them, celebrate their efforts, and find out how we can make their lives better.
History of Education Support Professionals Day
Education Support Professionals (E.S.P.s) Day takes place during American Education Week. The week comprises a series of celebrations and holidays founded by the National Education Association (N.E.A.).
The history of Education Support Professionals Day goes back to a 1987 N.E.A. book pamphlet. The pamphlet called for a special day to honor the many contributions of public-school staff. It was a call everyone in the school system endorsed, resulting in the first official celebration of National Education Support Personnel Day that same year. Many years later, the association changed the holiday name to ‘Education Support Professionals.’ They believed the new name better conveyed the pride in being an E.S.P. and its crucial role in public education.
Caring for children is the toughest job in the world. And the work that E.S.P.s do requires deep investment and time. E.S.P.s are vital to the foundations of public and private schools everywhere. Schools can’t run without them. Besides core responsibilities, most E.S.P.s provide care to students with special needs. They also ensure the safety and well-being of all students. If students struggle with expenses for supplies or field trips, E.S.P.s are known to help by paying out of their own pockets.
On Education Support Professionals Day, we give them the thanks and recognition they so rightly deserve. What’s more, today we must advocate for their fundamental rights – better pay, benefits, and dignity of work.
Education Support Professionals Day timeline
The N.E.A. and American Legion co-sponsor and organize the first American Education Week
An N.E.A. pamphlet first calls for a day to honor the contributions of education support staff.
The first Education Support Personnel Day takes place the same year it was first conceptualized.
The N.E.A. celebrates 100 years of American Education Week and the power of education to take us to new heights.
Education Support Professionals Day FAQs
What is E.S.P. support?
Education Support Professionals (E.S.P.) support all aspects of school functioning. They ensure safety and functionality, from classroom learning to health, emotional wellness, infrastructure, and so much more.
What does 'academic support' mean?
Academic support encompasses different methods to accelerate student learning and success in school. It includes various learning methods, activities, school resources, or other educational services.
What are examples of academic support?
Academic support includes a broad spectrum of services. Strategies can involve alternative instructional strategies, college and career services, tutoring, mentorship programs, supplemental courses, or faculty advisories.
How to Observe Education Support Professionals Day
Organize events recognizing their achievements
Organize special events or assemblies to celebrate the E.S.P.s in your school. Give them presents or write notes of appreciation. Start a social media campaign. You could also conduct activities for students to get to know their E.S.P.s better.
Publicly say thank you
Don’t hold back on the praise. Feature stories of E.S.P.s in the school newsletter – ideally, where everyone gets to learn more about them. Put up their pictures on school bulletin boards with thank-you notes for each one.
Fight for their rights
E.S.P.s are integral to schools and communities. Today, let’s advocate for better working conditions, better pay, and more training for E.S.P.s.
5 Facts About Schools Around The World That Will Blow Your Mind
Mealtime as part of the curriculum
French schools build mealtime into the curriculum to help kids learn about different foods, their sources, good manners, and etiquette.
No job too small
In South Korea, students stay back after lessons to help clean and tidy the classroom.
Floating schools to combat floods
Bangladesh has over 100 boat schools that students attend when the rivers rise and traveling on roads becomes impossible.
Ziplining to school
In Colombia’s remote Los Pinos Valley, older children travel to school on a zipline, saving a two-hour walk through the rainforest.
Summer vacations in December
Schools in Chile start Summer vacations in December till the end of March – that’s, three months away from school.
Why Education Support Professionals Day is Important
It takes a village
We often end up forgetting the people that make our lives infinitely better. Today, we remember that there’s a larger community helping us raise our children.
It’s always amazing to see people’s faces light up with joy. And especially when they do the same for a child, day in and day out.
Builds respectful and dignified working spaces
It’s a day that aims to create equitable and inclusive workspaces. When you put names and stories to otherwise invisible faces, it’s a crucial step towards building dignified working conditions for everyone.
Education Support Professionals Day dates