As Education Support Professionals (ESP’s) or (classified employees) we frequently sell ourselves short. We too often hear that “I’m JUST a custodian” or “I ONLY drive the bus.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. We have relationships with students, we know their names, their hobbies, their demeanors. We notice when they are having a tough day. We often have the opportunity to see them in a different setting than teachers do and because of that we tend to notice subtleties in that child and can have meaningful influence in their lives and education.
We all know that a student isn’t ready to learn if their stomach isn’t full, if the temperature in the room isn’t comfortable, if the environment isn’t clean and safe, or if they are thinking about whether or not they will have a ride home. Who is providing this consistency in their learning? YOU ARE! We as a workforce should not only take credit but take PRIDE in this fact. Undoubtedly, to most students you are more than “JUST A” anything. You are a friend, mentor, role model, protector… The list could go on and on. After all, not all things in life are learned from a text book.
There are few greater callings in our society then the education of children. When we focus on educating the whole child, we quickly realize that there is more than just academics that will empower and inspire students to become more well rounded, thoughtful, and productive citizens of their communities.
What a fantastic opportunity and obligation we have to ensure that our daily interactions with students is a positive and beneficial encounter that will impact them for the duration of their lives.