Written by Carlos M. De La Torre
From Library Aides to Teaching Assistants and Office Professionals, Instructional Paraprofessionals are the first faces we see in any given department of the schools in our communities. They are the backbone of the school with the support they give to our teachers and administrative team. Recent reports show that this profession accounts for over 1,300,000 jobs in the United States alone. While offering a variety of departments to work in and students to assist, it is one of the most versatile positions that exists in schools. In a time where students need assistance with adapting to a new style of learning, teachers are in more need of instructional assistance now more than ever. Instructional paraprofessionals now need to become involved in in professional development and a place to bounce ideas from individuals who are on the same journey they are in.
In response to this need in our educational community, Education Service Center Region 19 will be hosting its 23rd Annual Paraprofessionals in Education Conference. “This annual conference was initially set up to provide professional development to support staff working in the field of education,” says Elena Marquez, Executive Assistant and Board Secretary for the ESC Region 19 Executive Office. Marquez oversees all operations for the Paraprofessionals in Education Conference. “Twenty-three years later, not even a pandemic could stop us! Being part of those Aha! Moments provided to Region 19 area support staff, is heartwarming.”
To inspire and offer personal tools for success, the conference will be featuring national speaker Ruben Gonzalez, the first person to compete in four Winter Olympics in four different decades. Gonzalez’s story of his quest for the Olympics gives people hope and strength. Through Gonzalez’s experiences, attendees can learn how to build confidence and achieve their personal and/or professional ambitions (See how Gonzalez entertains & motivates thousands across the country VIDEO).
While remote workers often report a high degree of satisfaction and greater work-life flexibility with telecommuting, virtual work presents its own set of challenges when it comes to achieving work-life balance. The PIE Conference will also offer insightful sessions for Paraprofessionals like the “Balancing Work and Life in a Virtual World” seminar. Personal motivators increase your energy levels, developing productive practices, Go-to strategies for handling high-stress situations, and tips for transforming chaos into positive momentum, and reprogramming bad habits for the best results
“The first PPC conference was held on January 13, 1999, at the back then Airport Hilton Hotel. This 23rd year, we continue to provide professional development for education support staff.”, says Marquez. “Although virtually, participants enjoy attending this annual event because they get inspired, motivated and re-energized by listening to invited motivational speakers to include ESC19 Teachers of the Year, keynoters, and presenters that have such meaningful and positive information to share.”
ESC Region 19’s Paraprofessionals in Education Conference will take place virtually Thursday, February 25, 2021—from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM. For more information and to register, click here to visit the conference webpage!