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ESP Peer Mentorship

Mentoring supports Education Support Professionals (ESPs) in their professional practice as they work to provide safe, healthy, and supported learning environments for all students.
ESPs at NEA NEA
19 local association teams convened at NEA headquarters in January 2020 to plan their ESP mentoring programs.

Education Support Professionals: Supporting Our Own Through Peer Mentoring

NEA recognizes the vital role ESPs play in ensuring a great public school for every student. That’s why we work with affiliates to provide enhanced professional support through peer mentoring for ESPs at all stages of their career. 

ESPs make up more than one third of today’s public education workforce, but often have inadequate professional development and workplace preparation and support. Formal programs where ESPs mentor ESPs can provide the high-quality, targeted, and specialized support that is vital for professional and student success.  

Mentoring for ESPs, like the long-established mentoring relationships between new and experienced teachers, can ensure ESPs deal successfully with the growing complexity and increasing demands of education. 

ESP peer mentoring is essential to:

  • Support the development of personal and professional skills and knowledge. 

  • Ensure the ESP community has a greater voice in the workplace and more opportunities to build their own professional pathways.  

  • Recruit and retain high quality support professionals in the education workforce. 

  • Contribute to the overall mission of student success. 

Are you interested in establishing an ESP peer mentoring program? This guide will get you started! 

Do you have an ESP mentoring program in your school district, university/college, local Association, or State? Email us at ESPMentoring@nea.org.

When you give ESPs a voice and an opportunity to help other support staff know their value, then mentoring becomes invaluable.
Quote by: Judy Near, Colorado
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.