The MTA provides opportunities for ESPs to acquire professional development and union leadership skills every year.
Watch for e-mails as events approach. For more information, contact ESP Organizer Audra Makuch at 617.878.8260.
Mark your Calendars: Upcoming ESP Events
2/20 Steps to Licensure 101 Quincy
2/20 Legal Rights of ESPs Holyoke
2/20 Supporting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students Holyoke
4/5–4/6 ESP Conference Falmouth
4/16 The Role of the Paraprofessional in Special Education Auburn
4/17 Immigration in the Classroom Quincy
3/2 Spring Professional Development Summit Holden
5/11 Supporting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students Quincy
5/18 Supporting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students Pittsfield
By Jean Conley
E ducation support professionals from across the state will gather on Cape Cod on April 5 and 6 for the MTA ESP Conference.
The popular annual conference, which will
be held at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth,
combines workshops with engaging, inspirational
presentations that offer plenty of opportunities
for fun and union building — all in a beautiful
Workshops were still being finalized as
MTA Today went to press, but topics will include
retirement planning, supporting LGBTQ students,
classroom skills, health and safety in the workplace,
and résumé skills. Sessions will cover topics of
interest to ESPs of all job categories, whether they
work in higher education or preK- 12 schools.
A favorite feature — the presentation of the
annual MTA ESP of the Year award — will take
place during dinner on Friday evening.
The award honors an ESP at the state level who
has been nominated by his or her local association as
one who stands up for workers’ rights and stands out
for making a difference in the lives of students.
Leslie Marsland, chair of the ESP Committee,
said committee members hope this year’s conference
will be one of the best ever.
The conference is among the MTA’s most well-attended annual events. “ESPs from around the state
join together to learn, share knowledge and gain the
tools needed to lead our union, our schools and our
students into the future,” Marsland said.
“In these challenging times,” she added, “it is
more important than ever for ESPs to educate the
public about the valuable work we do in our schools
MTA President Merrie Najimy, Vice President
Max Page and the winner of the 2019 MTA ESP of
the Year award will address the ESPs.
On Saturday, a breakfast buffet will be followed
by two workshop sessions and a closing luncheon
at which ESPs will have a chance to hear from and
cheer on a cohort of new graduates of the MTA ESP
Leadership Weekends program. Participants gather
for intensive leadership training and interpersonal
skill building over three weekends in the fall, winter
and spring. This year’s group of 16 ESPs will wrap
up their training at the conference.
The conference is expected to conclude about 3
p.m. on Saturday.
A full listing of workshops and other activities
can be found at massteacher.org/esp. Early bird
registration ends on Friday, March 1. After that date,
the conference fee will increase by $10. Discounted
hotel room rates are available until March 8, and the
final date to register for the conference is March 27.
If your school district or local association does not
pay or reimburse your conference costs, you may be
eligible to apply for a grant. For more information
on costs, hotel charges and registration, please visit
massteacher.org/esp. Other questions can be e-mailed
to Jessica Parlon in the MTA Division of Training and
Professional Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her phone number is 617.878.8153.