Education Support Professionals play a pivotal role in children’s education and in making a difference in their lives, National ESP of the Year Janet Eberhardt told Wisconsin ESP Friday at the WEAC Professional Issues Conference in Wisconsin Dells.
As a special guest at the ESP Academy, Eberhardt brought a message of inspiration and encouragement, saying that ESP – paraprofessionals, school secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, food service personnel and more – play a key role in education’s goal of addressing the needs of the whole child.
“We all know as ESP that it is so important that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged,” she said. “It’s what we do every day inside and outside the classroom.”
Eberhardt, a member of the United Educators of San Francisco, said she came to the WEAC ESP Academy “to share the message to be encouraged, inspire others, to reach out and get involved in making a difference in our children’s lives each day.”
“For me it’s simple logic,,” she said, “you smile to inspire, you motivate, and you persevere and you engage and encourage. It’s what we do. You listen with love, you observe for understanding, you guide with a focus, inform for knowledge and care, care must be genuine. It’s what we do.
“Keep tapping into the gifts that our children bring to us,” she added. “From the time they set foot on our campuses, walk through those doors, they come with special gifts and special needs that need to be addressed. And we as ESPs know how to build relationships and build rapport with students. I tell you, it’s so important in making a difference in children’s lives.
“Be encouraged, inspire and try to engage others to come on board and continue to be the change agent for our students.”