Education assistants support teachers and students in the classroom. We had a conversation with Jane A., an Education Assistant program instructor from our Burnaby campus, to learn about what it’s like to work in the field.
Jane has over 20 years of industry experience working in education with children and adults. She worked in a school district in Richmond, BC, for 16 years. Next, she moved on to working in group homes and then day programs for adults with disabilities. Her love of learning and education eventually led Jane to return to school and complete her Bachelor of Arts degree. Within a month of graduating, Jane was ready for her next adventure and went on to complete her master's degree, where she was able to start teaching adults and began instructing at various colleges and a university in the Lower Mainland.
"I've done the full circle with various career positions, but I still decided that I loved teaching adults, and I still want to learn and educate myself. That's why I'm still here at Vancouver Career College," says Jane.
Working at the Burnaby Campus
In 2018, Jane started working casually on a part-time basis with Vancouver Career College. COVID-19 changed everything as the demand for instructors rose to accommodate more and more people returning to school for post-secondary education. She was promoted to become the program coordinator for the Education Assistant at the college, and is currently working at the Burnaby campus.
“I really like working at the Burnaby campus because there is a hip little coffee shop, Weekend Tea, right at the entrance that serves unique drinks, from coffee to tea to bubble tea. I always like stopping in there to get something different every time," she says.
Continuing the Career Journey
Jane shared the process of her career journey from being an instructor, to a program coordinator, and even a hairdresser.
"There are things that have happened in my life that made me very strong. I was a single parent for a very long time, my daughter has been my world," says Jane.
At 19, Jane's daughter challenged her about if it would be a good time to return to school to focus more on her career. Jane is extremely thankful for the encouragement that she received from her daughter, which motivated her to pursue further education and get where she is today. Not only is she passionate about her family, but she is also passionate about educational learning, and serving and helping members within her community.
Jane is currently on track to complete her Ph.D. in educational leadership, so she can help others grow into leadership roles. She also encourages those who no longer feel passionate about something to go back to school to refresh what they already know or start a new career path.
Advice to Future Education Assistants
For individuals wanting to become education assistants, Jane advises they have the following qualities when working with children. The first is always having patience when interacting with children. The second, always smiling to allow a friendly atmosphere. Third, speak to children on their level unless authority requires you to not do so. Jane also recommends having a good pair of shoes, as you will be moving on your feet a lot. Finally, she get quality sleep on a good mattress because you'll need to be well-rested to do your job.
As a passionate instructor Jane, loves being at Vancouver Career college because she wants to continue instructing adults to become Education Assistants. If you are ready to learn more about becoming an Education Assistant in 45 weeks, visit here to get started.