MSEA’s ESP Professional Development Day

ESPs: The Foundation of Schools and Students




United Media Guild Executive Secretary Shannon Duffy (l) is the keynote speaker at MSEA’s Annual ESP Professional Development Day.

Join education support professionals from across the state for a day of professional development that connects all the dots for your professional, union, and personal growth. Twelve sessions support building a stronger union of ESPs in every local in the state—that means more power, more influence, more respect, and more success. Join expert member and staff presenters plus special guest Executive Secretary Shannon Duffy of the United Media Guild!

Workshops include:

Bargaining for the Common Good
Across the country, local NEA affiliates and other public sector unions are rethinking when it comes to collective bargaining campaigns and worker advocacy. During this session, participants will learn about some of the innovative and exciting ways that unions are using new strategies and tactics to build power and fight for the profession education support professionals deserve and schools our students deserve. This includes grassroots, member-driven organizing, open and transparent bargaining, and community engagement through strategies such as Bargaining for the Common Good.
Presenters: Brian Bellor, NEA Senior Collective Bargaining Specialist; Philimena Owona, MSEA Board of Directors

ESP Career Advancement
This workshop will help you navigate your way through the pursuit of a promotion or new position from start to finish. Identifying a career path, how to position yourself, applying, writing a resume that stands out, and how to write a cover letter that grabs attention. We’ll share how to set yourself apart, and feel more confident doing so, during an interview so the employer will want to either hire or promote you.
Presenters: John Carnahan, MSEA UniServ Director; Jana Rossetto-Kennedy, MSEA Executive Assistant

ESP Employment Rights
Join the MSEA legal department for an informational session regarding your employment rights during these difficult times. Topics covered will include safe working conditions, ADA accommodations and leave, and grievance procedures. Bring your questions.
Presenter: Jamie Sapia, Center for Legal Affairs

ESP Praxis Overview
Are you looking to become a paraeducator or instructional assistant and need to take the ParaPro assessment? Are you a paraeducator and want to become certified? Join this overview session to learn more about MSEA’s nine-session Para-Pro support series (with 1:1 tutoring available) and take a diagnostic to better understand where to focus your studying.
Presenter: Dr. Rose Mary Bunag, National Board Certified Teacher, Prince George’s County

Four Motivations of Recruitment
Getting people involved can be one of the biggest barriers to having a strong union and organizing. Join this session to learn how and why members get involved and use that information to get others to join the movement.
Presenters: Sharon Gregory, Paraeducator, Howard County; Beth Ramey, MSEA Organizing Specialist

How to Think Like an ESP Organizer
As we continue to expand our organizing capacity as a union to create change, what are we really talking about? Organizing is more than just marching in the streets or packing a school board meeting room. This session will review what skills you need to develop as a leader in our association and how to view everything we do as an organizing opportunity.
Presenters: Nikki Cole, Seleste Harris, and William Suggs, MSEA UniServ Directors

Politics 101: How to Elect Your Bosses
Politics can be a sticky subject, but it’s an important one for those of us involved in public education. From electing our bosses (the Board of Education!), to the amount we’re paid, to the details of our working conditions… everything we do in our work is tied to politics. We have to get involved in political work to have our voices heard!
Presenters: Dan Chambers and Joia Clevinger, MSEA Organizing Specialists

Restorative Practices for ESP: A Deeper Dive
This workshop will provide members a closer look at using a restorative approach when working with students. Restorative approaches to student interactions have been research-proven to lower stress for all involved, improve student outcomes, and provide a just and equitable school community. This workshop is especially for education support professionals. You will come away with tools that you can use immediately to make your work and student outcomes more positive.
Presenter: Evan West, MSEA Organizational Development Specialist

Roberts Rules: Process to Power
In every union, every voice matters. How can that be possible when the union is made up of so many people, with so many employment and workplace concerns? Enter Robert’s Rules of Order! This session will give you the tools you need for your voice and your the issues to be heard … and become a union priority with people power behind it!
Presenters: Joia Clevinger, MSEA Organizing Specialist; Seleste Harris, MSEA UniServ Director

The Threat of Social and Class Hierarchy to Inclusive School Communities
Our students’ needs are becoming increasingly complex. Therefore, it is imperative that every educator be equipped with the resources, support, and professional respect necessary to ensure our school communities achieve success. Too often ESPs are either overlooked or intentionally disregarded when developing and implementing the priorities of their school communities. This session will examine the established structures preventing ESPs from effectively doing their part to meet the needs of our students and will discuss the steps that must be taken to create the inclusive learning and working environments all members of the school community need and deserve.
Presenters: Ronnie Beard, Educator, Prince Frederick County Tina Dove, MSEA Organizing Specialist; Ivory Smith, President, Worcester County Education Support Personnel Association; Samuel Walters, MSEA ESP Organizing Committee

Trauma Informed Approaches for ESP: Identifying and Handling Triggers
The most difficult aspect of working with difficult student behavior often is determining what caused the behavior and how to mitigate it. All too often, those behaviors are caused by trauma triggers related to experiences a student has had outside of school. This workshop will address how trauma and Adverse Childhood/Community Experiences (ACEs) manifest as difficult student behavior. We will focus on how to lessen potential triggers, how to identify triggering stimuli and how to help students process the feelings that come with trauma triggers.
Presenter: Evan West, MSEA Organizational Development Specialist

What’s Your Superpower? Knowledge is Power
Are you looking to increase your activism and leadership in our union? In this session we will discuss some first steps and the knowledge needed for those seeking new skills as a union leader. Learn best communication strategies, how to lift up your co-workers, how to build out a team, and how to identify and address issues in your local.
Presenters: Michael Gavin, NEA Member Benefits Specialist; Elizabeth Jones, MSEA UniServ Director