What lead me to choose to become a Special Education Assistant

Kaylene Education Assistant 1 Comment

My name is Kaylene and I’m hovering on the far edge of 29. I mention it right away as my age was the deciding factor that lead me to Stenberg College. As I approach my 30’s, I have become more concerned with “growing up.” This doesn’t mean I haven’t tried before; I’ve been trying for nearly 30 years. My early 20’s were supposed to be a reward for myself after the rigor of high school. After a short semester of art history night courses at Kwantlen, I decided that education needed to wait until I could afford to make a career decision.


It was almost too easy to keep staying at home, paying meager rent and working multiple jobs to hoard money. Interesting side note, if you currently have disposable income – invest it! I spent MINE on 3 months in Europe and a lifetime’s worth of amazing memories. I’ve been working to pay it off and do it again for years, but still I’m struggling. Jobs don’t pay the bills; careers are where it’s at.


While I was still living at home, my mom became a foster parent. In my teens I was suddenly surrounded by young children. I learned to burp, change, feed, bathe and play with kids of all ages. It came so naturally! Most of my time off was spent with these children and I loved it. As one foster brother of mine grew up in our home, he approached school age. I was lucky growing up, I was a typical child. This foster brother of mine was not.


He is developmentally delayed due to fetal alcohol syndrome and the influence of narcotics while in the womb. School wouldn’t be the same for him as it was for me. Last year when he came home from school, he was upset and anxious about going back the next day. It was difficult for him, he needed extra help and there were too many kids in his class for his teacher to notice. He hated school. I remembered my own excitement for school, meeting friends and reading new books. It’s because my heart broke for my brother that I decided to pursue the Special Education Assistant diploma. I want to be in the classroom with children like him; I want to make sure kids love school the way that I did.


While looking into schools, Stenberg was recommended by a friend and recent graduate of the same SEA program I was looking for! I wanted to start as soon as possible (pressure of turning 30 without a career in the works was terrifying me). Other schools offered similar courses and I’ll admit that I interviewed with a handful of them, but I came back to Stenberg with confidence. I would get into a program that started within a month! I could be working within the school system as early as next year! Plus, I wasn’t able to find a single negative review of the school online, and believe me, I looked…


After 2 months here, I am even more sure that this was the right choice. Everyone has been professional and kind, knowledgeable and supportive. Campus is modern and security is a bonus. My time at Stenberg will only last 10 months, but I will be a new me, and I don’t doubt that I will have this school to thank for it.

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