On the Job with Scott McDonald: Teacher Consultant, Special Education

On the Job with Scott McDonald: Teacher Consultant, Special Education
Matthew, a student in Tollgate Technological Skill Centre’s Autism class, shows McDonald his visual schedule with teacher Alisa Dyment.

To The Haldimand Press

Scott McDonald, Teacher Consultant in Special Education at Grand Erie, is starting his day at Princess Elizabeth Public School. It’s one of 12 schools he visits regularly for resource team meetings, which bring together diverse groups of specialists to support the equally diverse needs of students.

“Any time a student struggles, there are processes in place to remove barriers to learning,” says McDonald, who is a former student of Seneca Central and JL Mitchener public schools, and Cayuga Secondary School. “It’s a wrap-around, team approach, because success looks different for every student.”

At the meeting with McDonald is the school’s principal and learning resource teacher, along with a Grand Erie child and youth worker, and a social worker. Other times, depending on the needs they’re working to meet, the resource team might expand to include speech language pathologists, educational assistants, behavioural counsellors, or other professionals with expertise in specific areas.

It’s a bit like putting together the pieces of a giant puzzle. There’s a corner piece here, a centre piece over there, and finding the right connective pieces to bring the full picture into view requires a team effort.

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