Have you thought about becoming a reading specialist?
Becoming a reading specialist in Wisconsin
Reading specialists are teachers who have special training in reading and literacy. They serve a critical role in the life of a child. They often work alongside classroom teachers, as well as with small groups of students. Sometimes, they can train teacher aides to offer support alongside classroom teachers. Usually, reading specialists focus on specific skills. Also, they might teach what’s being taught in the classroom, but at a slower rate, according to Kate Kelly from Understood.org. An important part of a reading specialist’s job is to help determine which students need additional reading support.
How does being a licensed reading specialist help elementary teachers overall?
Kristen Braatz, Assistant Director of Graduate Literacy, is passionate about being a reading specialist. Right now, in her work with the Graduate Literacy program at Concordia, Braatz gets to support teachers.
“Helping teachers to grow in their understanding of how literacy is developed and best taught is vitally important and fulfilling,” she says.
Research shows that a number of factors can influence a student’s literacy development including both the home and school environment. However, of all factors, the most influential is the quality of instruction a student receives.
Braatz shared the importance of quality instruction here: “Evidenced-based quality literacy instruction based upon empirical research is critical for students to learn and develop the literacy skills they need. These skills underpin the ability to grow in knowledge and succeed in life. And the key to quality literacy instruction is a teacher knowledgeable in the science of reading and the science of teaching reading.”
Literacy is an equity issue
“First of all, literacy is an equity issue. With literacy comes innumerable benefits, including academic success, empowerment, the ability to develop knowledge, make informed decisions, and participate in society. As we empower teachers to better understand how literacy develops, the benefits will be seen in more students becoming competent and curious readers.”
She reminds us that there are several factors that can influence a student’s literacy development. Some of these factors include both the home and school environments. She says, “However, of all factors, the most influential is the quality of instruction a student receives.”
Teachers can make a huge impact.
Braatz continues: “Evidenced-based quality literacy instruction based upon empirical research is critical for students to learn and develop the literacy skills that underpin the ability to grow in knowledge and succeed in life. And the key to quality literacy instruction is a teacher knowledgeable in the science of reading and the science of teaching reading.”
Are you interested in becoming a reading specialist in Wisconsin?
Concordia University offers a pathway that leads to the Reading Teacher (#1316) and Reading Specialist (#5017) licenses. These programs are designed to enhance your literacy and leadership skills.
Become a reading teacher or reading specialist through CUW
First, you need to hold a Wisconsin teaching license and have two years of successful teaching.
- Earn your Reading Teaching license: This program is a 15 credit – a five course program that typically is completed in less than one year.
- Earn your master’s degree with an emphasis in reading and Reading Specialist license: This program is an additional five courses. This path includes an internship experience that is completed during the second year of study.
Online program: Our programs are offered 100% online or through our virtual accelerated course work.
8-week courses: Typical courses are 8-weeks and designed to be completed by the full-time teachers. Our instructors are licensed Reading Specialist, doctoral experts, and have practical field experience.
Becoming a reading specialist is a great way to grow your skills and impact children in a meaningful way. If you want to know more, feel free to check out our program page.
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