ESP Leadership Training

The NEA Leaders for Tomorrow program is a three-session training program held over an eight-month period.

It is open to dues-paying NEA Educational Support Professional (ESP) members who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Leaders for Tomorrow will train current and future leaders in leadership attitudes, skills, and knowledge that will enhance their ability to be a visible, vocal advocates at the local, state, and national levels of the NEA. 

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Candidates must be nominated for the program and have their application acknowledged and signed by their state association. Nomination guidelines and application

Note that the application suggests that one of your nominees be your “Service Unit or Executive Director.”

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for the NEA Leaders for Tomorrow program, you:

  • Must be a current NEA ESP member.
  • Must have been an NEA member in good standing for the past three years.
  • Must complete an application form and submit it by the deadline.
  • Must commit to participate fully in all three sessions.
  • Must commit to use your new skills in my association.

Eleven learning modules

The program is broken into eleven modules: Self Awareness and Self Management, Risk Taking and Change, Assertiveness, Communication, Resilience and Coping Skills, Political Activism, NEA Governance and Structure and Trade Unionism, Presentation Skills, Organizing, and Effective Meeting Skills. Participants in the program will:

  • Identify personal strengths and weaknesses and learn how to utilize them as a leader.
  • Build skills in areas such as communication, organizing and recruitment, team building, and presentation.
  • Learn how to use the structure, resources, culture, and work of NEA effectively as a leader.
  • Learn how to engage members in politics.
  • Learn the history and importance of trade unionism.
  • Learn how to run an effective meeting.
  • Learn how to use the art of powerful questions.
  • Identify their risk-taking style and risks leaders face.
  • Learn internal and external organizing skills.
  • Learn how to communicate effectively and how to make a presentation.

Time commitment and resources

All participants are fully funded as allowed under the NEA travel guidelines, including transportation, lodging, meals, and substitute pay or salary reimbursement, including attendance to the ESP conference.

NEA leaders and staff understand that personal and professional emergencies can arise, however, it is expected that selected candidates will attend all sessions completely except in cases of an emergency.

Nominees who are selected must complete the entire first session in order to attend the two subsequent sessions. If an emergency arises, Leaders for Tomorrow participants must commit to notifying the NEA ESP program as soon as possible.

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