June 6, 2023

Let’s Talk ESP Blog: The Final Curtain

Let’s Talk ESP Blog: The Final Curtain Featured Image

Gail Kablau
Education Support Professional
(ESP)-at-Large Board Director

Well, here we are at the end of another school year. It is also the end of my Board term as your WEAC ESP-at-Large representative. In my job, the nature of the work I do at this time of the school year is as much about starting to put the pieces together for next year, as it is about closing out this school year. I feel the same way about my work with WEAC.

As someone who has always been involved in the fine arts, the final curtain, or the concert at the end of the rehearsal season, or the competition after grueling marching band rehearsals, is a high and low experience. Your work towards the final performance builds over a period of time, and then peaks at the performance. When it’s over, it can feel like a bit of a let down, because it’s just over, and you always feel like you could have done something better.

The goals that I set for myself in taking on the ESP-at-Large position very much follows my fine arts experience – it’s the way I have always approached reaching my goals. Work through things in chunks – learn the basics, fine tune them, and then work towards perfecting all of the parts for the final performance.

The obvious goal as the ESP-at-Large, of course, has been to represent all Education Support Professionals (ESP) during WEAC Board meetings. Meetings are great for setting goals, but once the goals are set, I need to be where the action is. So, additionally, I found ways through committees, or as an individual organizer to find ways to help ESP leaders grow to rebuild existing and build new Locals. This ESP Blog was also started as a way to communicate out and get in touch with all of our members.

While COVID took some of the wind out of our sails, we’re back in the driver’s seat, and it’s time to put our foot back on the gas. While the curtain is coming down on my term as ESP-at Large, I’m a long way from being done advocating for Education Support Professionals (ESP). Next year it will just look a little different.

I’ll continue to be a trainer at the annual WEAC Summer Leadership Academy. This year it will be held July 24-26 at UW Whitewater. For $25 each, your leadership team will get comprehensive training on all aspects of being a Local leadership team, and the opportunity to network with others around the State. I hope you will seriously consider attending with a team of your Local leaders, but even if you can’t get a team together, attending as an individual leader can be very valuable. We will also have some time built in to connect just as ESP members during the Conference. REGISTER HERE

I hope to continue my advocacy work through the WEAC ESP Committee to be part of establishing State goals in revitalizing our ESP Locals. COVID also had a negative effect on membership in this committee, and we are looking to get it back to where it needs to be – a committee that represents all Education Support Professional families. If you are a WEAC member of any of the 9 ESP families, including clerical services, custodial and maintenance services, food services, health and student services, paraeducators, security services, skilled trades, technical services, transportation services, we need you. Let me know if you are interested in serving on this important committee.

As the curtain closes at the end of my term, I take my final bow with this last ESP Blog, but I hope that won’t be the end of our relationship. If you ever need to work with someone to help in your Local, I will continue to be a resource for you.  Let’s Talk!

Gail Kablau is the WEAC Education Support Professional (ESP)-at-Large Board RepresentativeContact her at: gdkablau@gmail.com.