Reading Specialist


Tell us about your work---what do you do? I teach reading disabled children in grades on through six in several elementary school buildings. I work with an average of 90-100 children. What skills are needed? You must have a teaching certificate in the state where you are working and an endorsement in reading . The endorsement may be K6 or K12. I hold a K12 endorsement because it gives me greater flexibility. What was your major? I majored in elementary education for my bachelor's degree, reading for my master's, and in curriculum and education for the E.D.S. degree. How did you get started in your career? I taught second and third grade for several years. Then I took a class in Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Disabilities from a wonderful professor who inspired me to continue. What experience do you need in this job? You need classroom teaching experience at the appropriate level. You should be pursuing the M.A. in reading or already have earned it. Describe your "typical" workday. I teach 10 classes of about 25 minutes in length in a program that mostly pulls children from the classroom. At times, I go into the classroom to work with small groups or the whole class in a team teaching format. I do not work in the same building each day, but I plan for para-professionals to carry out my program when I am not there. I have to plan for about 90 students per day. I participate in many S.A.T. meetings and also multidisciplinary team meetings. Every day is different! What is the hardest aspect of your job? Not having enough time to work with individual children and juggling the large caseload. This can vary greatly from school district to school district. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Watching children "turn on" to reading and knowing that you have made a significant difference in their lives. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? It would be a good idea to observe a reading specialist in your state and visit with him or her about the field. The job will vary widely from state to state and even from school district to school district.