Name: Janice Meehan
Kwantlen Program: Special Education Teacher Assistant
Grad Year: 1994
Employed as: Education Assistant
Employer website: www.surreyschools.ca
What are your primary responsibilities at your job: Providing support for students with special needs in K-12. This year, I am in a program that serves elementary school-aged students with a diagnosis of anxiety, psychosis and/or mood disorder, providing one-on-one support in the classroom.
What is your favourite part of your work?
Working with children has to be one of the most rewarding jobs a person can do. Every day for an EA is different.
How do you like to unwind/handle stress?
Even though EAs love their jobs, it can be a very stressful job. Students can be very challenging and we are seeing more physically aggressive students every year. To be successful, one has to learn how to separate the job from the home life. I have found that being physically active is key to handling the stress.
If you had a time machine and could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Definitely Jack Layton. I had the opportunity soon after Jack became the leader of the New Democratic Party to meet and chat with him. He was truly a wonderful person.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am an activist at heart, whether that be advocating for the students I work with or being active politically. I am passionate about change for the better.
Where do you see yourself in one, five or 10 years?
What are you most proud of?
Besides my own children, I am most proud when I meet students who I used to work with and see how they have become adults.
Favourite Kwantlen moment?
I met a group of women while in the SETA program that have become lifelong friends, and in fact we get together once a month for dinner. It doesn’t get better than that!