An interesting thing happened to me a few days ago.
I was walking my dog, Archie, and glanced down, and there on the sidewalk was a perfectly good pair of gloves.
I left them there, thinking whoever dropped them would probably retrace their steps as soon as they noticed the gloves were missing (it’s still pretty cold here).
As I continued on my way, I saw first, a community college ID, then a card for holding phone minutes, then a receipt, a credit card, and a couple of business cards. I started picking them up one by one…like little breadcrumbs.
More receipts, a Dillard’s gift card, another credit card…the trail led me to a wrist purse made of pink and yellow fabric.
I knew immediately what to do.
I live three doors down from our neighborhood school. I turned back around, picked up the gloves, and started walking to the school building.
There was no doubt in my mind, the purse, IDs, and gloves belonged to a parent or caregiver who lost them during school drop-off. And I knew, from experience, that the school secretary would be able to take one look at the pile of stuff and know who it belonged to.
I was right.
You know, it’s something we don’t think about often but our school secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, and food service workers are the eyes and ears of our school communities.
These education support professionals know our families. They know when parents and caregivers are dealing with financial challenges, handling family situations, or moving to new apartments.
And they know our schools. They understand education jargon, acronyms, and information.
That combination is powerful.
And that means, ESPs can not only link owners with lost purses but with the right training, they can also serve as communication highways.
They can help us build relationships with families and close the school-home communication loop so that students succeed.
In the past year, I have made empowering ESPs a focus of my school-home communication work…providing workshops for bus drivers, nurses, food service workers, front office staff, and media and classroom aides.
And, this year, I have the honor of presenting at the National Education Association Education Support Professionals Conference this week.
If you plan to attend, please check out my workshop…School-Home Communication Essentials for ESPs.
If you’re interested in providing training or support for your ESPs, reach out, and let’s talk. I’d love to help you nurture the power of your ESPs and help you improve or enhance your school-home communication.