There are nearly half a million Education Support Professionals in the ranks of NEA's 3 million members. They are the school support staff working side-by-side with teachers, professors, administrators and parents to help students achieve their best. A major source of support professionals' work satisfaction is the personal fulfillment they get from working with students and serving their communities. ESPs overwhelmingly say they chose to work in education because they want to make a positive impact on students.
ESPs are educated, well-trained and experienced. ESPs have made significant personal accomplishments. Forty-two percent have an associate's or more advanced degree. Sixty-five percent have taken college courses. Forty-six percent take or have taken job-related classes. Forty-two percent have special certificates. Eighty-two percent plan to stay in the profession and sixty-seven percent plan to stay with their current jobs until they retire. With more than three-quarters of ESPs living within the school district in which they work, they are a proven asset to the community.
Here's what Connie Boylan has to say about her work as a library media paraprofessional in the Traverse City Michigan public schools.