I Need an Educational Assistant

This session has been completed.
Facilitator: Dianne McConnell
Date:October 29, 2021
Time:8:45 am to 9:45 am MDT
Location: Virtual
Session Code: 22-DD-FMC-DM-072
Focus: District Days Educational / Instructional Assistants Inclusive Education

Target Audience

Educational Assistants

About this Learning Opportunity

As a mother of two boys with significant disabilities and a long-time educator Dianne has often heard throughout her career, the statement, “I need an educational assistant”. She agrees, educational assistants are necessary and valuable members of our learning teams and we do need them. All too often, however, the important role of the teaching assistant is often misunderstood and can be confusing. For example, how do you step in with the intention of supporting students and at the same time step back to foster independence? Join Dianne as she clarifies the valuable role of the educational assistant and provides tips and strategies on how to be your best self in this role. After all – the students we serve need and deserve our best selves.

All learning opportunities with the ERLC regional team will focus on the Alberta Education and district priority areas.

This session addresses the LQS competencies

  • #2: Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  • #4: Leading a Learning Community

This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • #2: Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  • #3: Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
  • #4: Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.

About the Facilitator

Dianne began her career as a teacher with the Parkland School Division. She has completed her PhD in Special Education and is also a registered psychologist. She has worked as a Vision Consultant (Teacher for the Visually Impaired), Director of Student Services at multiple school divisions, led the Alberta Provincial initiative for inclusion (Setting the Direction) and has been the Associate Superintendent with Parkland School Division over the past eight years. While her list of career accomplishments is indeed extensive, perhaps more important has been her role as a parent. She is also the mother of three children, two of which have complex health conditions, including vision loss. She has been involved in advocacy in the field of Blindness and Visual Impairment at both the provincial and national levels for over 30 years. Dianne brings a unique perspective to this subject matter. Through her experience as an educator and a parent of children with severe disabilities, she is well-versed on the ongoing challenges families and practitioners face in dealing with complex situations. She has worked as a service provider and has also been the benefactor of service provision. She has been a dedicated advocate throughout her career and is passionate about making a difference for children and their families.