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Member & Activist Spotlight

'I do what I do because I love what I do'

Pamella Johnson is a Behavioral Interventionist in Rochester, Washington and ESP of the Year
pamella johnson
Pamella Johnson accepts the Education Support Professional of the Year award at the 2023 NEA ESP National Conference in Seattle on March 25.
Published: March 31, 2023

I genuinely believe in the importance of representation for students of color and neuro-divergences to the overall improvement of our public education. A student's experience is so much more than tests and what they do inside the classroom, they deserve to be seen and supported as whole people – including their mental health and overall wellbeing.

I do what I do because I love what I do. I love my students. I love how authentic relationships make it possible for students and educators to come together to map a way to success. I love what students bring to the table. Teenagers are still growing up and looking to grown-ups to guide them to be members of society. We're there for them.

I go above and beyond my duties and responsibilities by taking the time to create authentic positive relationships with students to assist them in making the best decisions as it applies to their educational journey.

Now more than ever we need to attract more ESPs and stop ESPs from leaving the field.

The way to do that is by addressing livable wages. We need to support and appreciate ESPs for what we do and make the work rewarding.

Our work is critical to all that goes on in schools, from custodians to office staff to food services to paraeducators, we make the school run. We’re first to open and last to leave. And we love it.

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.