Reading Specialist

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jessica89, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Jessica89

    Jessica89 New Member

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    Jun 15, 2011

    Hello,
    I have recently graduated with a degree in Secondary Ed-English. I'm in the process of searching for jobs, but it is quite hard to find a job right now. This dilemma has sparked my interested in a Reading Specialist degree; however, I do not know much about the degree. Please, share any information you know about the field/degree! I also have a few questions.
    1. Aside from a Master's, are there any other qualifications I need?
    2. I have already student taught in a High School. Will I have to student teach as a reading specialist as well?
    3. Professors have always told me (and my classmates) that it is best to pursue a Master's once we have a job. Is this this same mindset when become a Reading Specialist? Should I try to find a job teaching? And work on my Master's on the side? Or is it beneficial to begin my Master's degree right away (and without a job).

    Thanks for the help!
     
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  3. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    I would not get the Reading degree without first having a job. When I got my Masters in Reading, there was a semester of practicum where you will work with a group of students, and document their progress. All Reading Specialist jobs I've seen have required three years of classroom teaching experience. It would be rare to hire a new teacher as a specialist, but that has just been my experience in my state. Also, Reading Specialist is a term that can mean different job qualifications. For some, it might only be pulling out different groups of kids that need additional instruction. At other schools, it means coaching teachers on reading instructional practices and assessment. It also might mean providing professional development at the school in the areas of reading and data analysis. So....it can mean a lot of things.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I agree!

    I would want classroom experience before pursuing a Reading Specialist Degree only because most places due want classroom experience.

    My Master's did not involve a student teaching or even practicum experience. Some do though, so check around.

    If you pursue a master's in reading, there isn't much you need except many some state tests. My state only requires one, but it depends on the state.
     
  5. Jessica89

    Jessica89 New Member

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    Jun 15, 2011

    Okay, thanks so much!
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my home state, I got a reading specialist endorsement simply by taking an additional praxis test because of all the reading classes my college already required for an elem. ed. degree. Out of the 4 praxis tests I had to take, it was by far the easiest. Your state may be similar, and you may find you don't need the classes since presumably you've taken a lot of reading/english classes already to get your first degree. If you do need to take the classes, at my university it was only around 10 credit hours extra. You shouldn't need a masters or anything like that. Look into your state requirements and local colleges.
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I assume this type of job is aka a reading recovery teacher. Long ago, I subbed for a certain reading recovery teacher whenever she needed a sub. I briefly thought of looking into maybe becoming one too. I was told the burnout rate for this type of position is very high.
     
  8. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I actually have a Master's in Literacy Instruction and I am certified to be a Literacy Coach or Reading teacher. I have not left the classroom (teacher) position yet, but I assumed as well that I would burn out fast. I love reading and I love teaching kids reading skills etc. but after being in the classroom over 11 years (6 years in Head Start and 5 years on elementary level), I feel I would get bored quick. And also it would be a tremendous responsibility to move readers up reading levels, especially in my school. Our RTI teacher sees alot of kids. Our Reading Coach though seems to have a more ideal job. He comes into the classroom and "coach" the teachers. Either way, I recently decided I don't want to do either. So....I've enrolled back into school to go for my Library Media Specialist degree. I am extremely excited!! This is what I think I was meant to do!....teach reading skills, research skills and instill the love of reading in children....exactly what I should have went to school for the first time. It's still a beautiful thing because I've gotten soooo much experience using what I learned in my Master's classes (literacy program). This can only make me a better Library Media Specialist. My administration is excited about my decision as well so I hope all goes well.
    Good luck.
     
  9. Jessica89

    Jessica89 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2011

    Thanks for all the feedback. It is very helpful!
    I did not know that about the praxis. I will have to look into that.
     
  10. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    I just recently completed my reading endorsement and did NOT get a masters. I found a program where you take the first half of a masters to get the reading endorsement, but you do not have to finish the masters. Having this is actually what got me my job for this fall (my first teaching position).
     
  11. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    The Reading Endorsement in my state is 15 units, but I think it might have moved up to 24. All reading jobs outside the classroom (pull out, Reading Coach) require the endorsement. Most jobs also require or highly desire a Masters degree so it's best to get your Masters in Reading, or get a Masters in something else and add the endorsement on if you want to be a desirable candidate for a variety of reading jobs.
     
  12. Jessica89

    Jessica89 New Member

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    This is a route I really would like to pursue. I just called my local college, and they said you need 2 years of classroom experience to get accepted into the Master's program. However, from all of your feedback it seems I can just taking the Reading Specialist praxis and credits required from the state of PA for Reading? And this is called Reading Endorsement? Is that different from a Reading Specialist? Or is it just another name for the same job?
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Reading Recovery is a specific, formatted program. It is designed to service the lowest, at-risk first graders. One can become a RR teacher by attending training classes...
    A reading specialist has an advanced degree...A RS has specialized knowledge of assessment and diagnosis of literacy skills. They can assess the reading needs of students and work with classroom teachers, parents, and specialized personnel such as psychologists, special educators, or speech teachers, in order to provide an effective reading program.
     
  14. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I'm currently working on a Master's of Literacy. Most of the programs in this area required 3 years teaching experience. By the time I'm done in December I will have completed 2 practicums. I'm in an off-campus cohort program & we came to my school twice a week to tutor. This was one of our courses. The next practicum is this fall & will be completed in my classroom. I know that both are required by the state.

    I also have to take the state test in order to be certified.

    I think I could have just added the endorsement, but the school that offered that was too far away. The ones that were more local require that you complete the master's degree.
     
  15. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Reading endorsement is just another name for a reading certification. It's not another name for the position or title of a reading specialist. Hope that helped.
     
  16. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Jun 17, 2011

    When I was hired for a Title I teacher position I was considered "out of field" because I had a BS Education but I didn't have my Masters in reading... So, they paid for me to get it! :) It took me two years and I had to do a summer practicum. My job was with an elementary school...I worked primarily with K-2 students with RTI! I enjoyed it, but being fresh out of college, I really wanted my own classroom. I did take the Praxis and earned the title of "Reading Specialist"... But once I finished the program, I decided to take a classroom job in kindergarten. I feel like I'm a better reading teacher as a result of working in Title I and getting my masters in reading! It also helped when I decided to get my National Boards in Early Literacy. :) It's great to know I can always go back into Title I if I need/want to. Right now, I'm in heaven teaching kindergarten though!;)

    Title I positions are very unstable due to funding (based upon free/reduced lunch)... But, no papers to grade or parents to deal with! These jobs are really great for teachers who don't have good classroom control. Usually you teach in small groups of no more than 6!;)
     
  17. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Thanks czacza. At my district, my schools don't have either. Yrs ago, a couple schools maybe had reading recovery teachers.
     

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