IEA Summer Institute & ESPs – What’s In It For Me?
(Or – Come On Baby, Light My Fire!)
Education Support Professionals are an integral and vital part of our schools. The contributions they make to our students are immeasurable but oftentimes overlooked. Unfortunately, there is frequently an inequity in professional development opportunities offered by school districts to certificated personnel verses classified personnel. ESPs are all too often left to their own devices to find, pay for, and then participate in professional development trainings to better their skills in their chosen professions – all the while being evaluated on their job performance without any effort in assisting them to improve their skills.
That is where the Idaho Education Association steps in. Each year the IEA’s ESP Committee has provided classes and professional development opportunities to ESP members across the state. This summer, ESP members are afforded an opportunity for professional development at the IEA’s Summer Institute, scheduled for July 27th through 29th at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa. As a bonus, this year’s offering includes the first ever statewide SPARKS training specifically geared for ESP members. Passed as a new business item at the 2016 Delegate Assembly, funding was earmarked expressly for this training and the newly formed ESP Caucus has taken on the challenge! The ESP Committee, chaired by Stacia Azpiazu, and the ESP Caucus are currently planning a meaningful and fun experience for all attendees as they gather input from regions and locals throughout the state. The ESP SPARKS is envisioned as “a time for ESPs to get premium professional development while networking with other ESPs from around the state.” Unlike other professional development offerings, ESP members will find that this is an all-expense paid opportunity as the IEA will cover the costs of registration, carpool reimbursement, lodging, and meals.
The theme for Summer Institute 2017 is “Be a Super Hero in the Classroom.” With the addition of ESP Sparks, we would like to add “Be a Super Hero in the Classroom, the Office, the Lunchroom, the Hallways, the Buses, and the Playground!” It will truly be an experience not to be missed! So mark your calendars and save the dates – July 27th through July 29th for the IEA Summer Institute and ESP SPARKS. Join us and let’s reignite your spark and light your fire!