May 8 is Support Staff Appreciation Day

Beyond a celebration of Education in general, Education Week is also an opportunity to spotlight the many job classes within our schools. Students are supported by a multitude of individuals as they move from Junior Kindergarten toward graduation day in secondary and beyond towards post-secondary education. It takes all of us to ensure individual student success.
Educational Assistants (EAs) support the students who need that extra help in a classroom. Their days are rarely mundane. They can be fast-paced, unpredictable and filled with successes and,

often, not so pleasant surprises. EAs are diverse in education skill sets and life experiences. They are often the catalyst that keeps a student moving forward and working to be the best that they can be. EAs don’t work in a vacuum; they are part of a team. Their classroom victories are not their own and they depend on the other job classes within OSSTF/FEESO. They are
proud educators.

Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) working in Kindergarten, even on the toughest days, get to share the joy of learning alongside our youngest students.  Riding with all the tears and smiles, building comfort and trust, capturing the excitement of new discoveries, finding time for silly fun, solving problems big and small, reading stories (again and again!), being there to listen to whatever one of their little people needs to say, noticing and celebrating the wisdom all children possess and then the passing sadness of saying goodbye as their learners inevitably grow
beyond them.

Whatever role you play as an educator, you are making your mark every day.  You are appreciated, loved and needed in so many ways—ways you might not even know.  Your work is important, as are you!  Even on the toughest days, but especially on May 8, Support Staff Appreciation Day, hold your head high. You are a hero to many.

About Rose Lepage and Donna Beischlag
Rose Lepage is an Early Childhood Education in District 4, Near North and Donna Beischlag is an Educational Assistant in District 17, Simcoe.

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