During American Education Week, we must all stop to formally acknowledge the many people who help make our education system run well and make public schools positive learning environments—because it matters. A lot. Today, we focus on those who support our teachers and principals, helping our schools to run smoothly—the educational support professionals.
From lunchtime flurries to playground safety, a healthy school environment is critical to making school conducive to the great teaching experiences teachers offer. This major responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the many amazing educational support professionals who champion today’s educational support challenges—in every school across America. From the school nurse to the custodial staff, many educational support professionals contribute to the success of a school—and its students!
Today, we extend our thanks to each and every one of them. Much has been written about American Education Week. This article is a collection of four more useful resources for teachers, parents, and educational support professionals—to add value and save time as we all work to showcase the individuals in our educational system.
To reinforce our support of teachers, educators, parents, and educational support professionals, this Teacher Peach article includes 4 valuable American Education Week tools:
- A brief summary of the aspects of American Education Week related to educational support professionals.
- A collection of links with deeper information.
- Two FREEBIES designed by Teacher Peach about educational support professionals. Feel free to post, print, and complete these PDFs with students to express appreciation for the many educational support professionals who help each day.
- Accessory products that educational support professionals will enjoy. These are great ways to thank these professionals.
American Education Week Summary 2
While teachers and principals often take center stage in championing the education of their students, the other educational support professionals in schools do a great deal to keep schools running smoothly, as well. The front office team ensures that only authorized visitors enter the building, juggling driver’s licenses and ID tags all day long. They also manage everything from forgotten lunches and early dismissals to the afternoon announcements and notification systems recordings. They keep the school running like a top—almost invisibly, every day of the school year.
The school nurse is also an educational support professional and must contend with on-demand medical issues, small and large. From playground scrapes to emergency epinephrine injections for serious allergies, the school nurse must always be at the ready—for anything. School nurses need to assess circumstances for severity, balancing the need for care with the ability to encourage a child to try to finish out the day back in class. School nurses have great responsibilities and must develop trusting relationships with both students and family members that extend far beyond strep notices.
Ever wonder where the snow goes, how the floors stay so clean, or how the building is warm enough on Monday mornings, even after a long weekend? It is typically the amazing custodial personnel that perform these behind-the-scenes services and heroics, often without fanfare. From spills in the lunch room to salting the walkways, this team keeps schools safe and clean—which is no small task.
Links at Your Fingertips
The following articles provide a quick and easy overview of the week’s events that relate to educational support professionals so you can acknowledge these strong contributors during American Education Week—and every day of the school year.
- Education Support Professionals Day 2015
Written by NEA, this overview article provides downloads, videos, and lots of factual information about educational support professionals.
- Education Support Professionals Day
This article contains additional information about American Education Week and Educational Support Professionals Day.
Share These Freebies to Thank Educational Support Professionals
All the support personnel in our schools deserve a thank you—from our communities, families, teachers, and students—not just during American Education Week, either. To honor and acknowledge the many contributions performed by support the educational support professionals in your schools on Educational Support Professionals Day, download these PDFs and use them in your classrooms all year long.
The first PDF provides a template for specific feedback to the various educational support professionals in your school. Invite kids to fill these out this week and share them in the mailboxes of the educational support professionals in your school. Collaborate with other teachers to ensure every educational support professional receives acknowledgement. Another great way to use these “certificates” is to remember the educational support professionals on special days like birthdays, school events, and at the start and end of the year.
The second PDF is all ready to print, complete with students, and display to thank the educational support professionals in your school every day. You might have students form a weekly or monthly routine of choosing a different student to lead the class in acknowledging a different educational support professional with specific thanks. Hang one copy in your classroom, share one with the principal, and of course, present one to the professional you’ve chosen to honor. By asking kids to specifically articulate the contributions individuals make to their day and their school, students will begin to better grasp all the work that goes on to make their school experience as positive as possible.
Teacher Gifts for Educational Support Professionals
American Education Week is a wonderful time to express thanks to the many educational support professionals in your school. Check out these products that make wonderful gifts for educational support professionals.
School nurses will like this “Boo Boo Bag!” It’s such a handy item to share with teachers heading out on field trips, too.
Nurses and front office professionals will also enjoy this colorful collection of desk accessories.
The “Fix.” Triangular tool set fits into any custodian’s pocket and comes in handy for quick fixes.
Don’t forget to include a note. Keep these “Either Way, Any Day” notecards at the ready to thank the educational support professionals in your school on any day!
How do you plan to show the educational support professionals in your school how much your school and students appreciate their work during American Education Week? Let us know below.