Hi all! Would you tell me what your reading specialist does at your school? This is the title I have and I have expectations of what my job should be, but the district basically does not. So I am getting little feedback about what I am doing. I like what I have done, but want to improve what I am offering the school. Thanks.
We only have one school in our district that receives Title I. There are two Title I teachers - another person and myself. Depending on funds we may or may not have an assistant, who I oversee. Besides working with Reading Recovery students and working with guided reading groups, I test new students, sit in on pupil assistance team meetings for primary students (our program is K-2; I'm not expected to attend upper level PAT's unless I have worked with child before), and provide in-service at times on literacy. I've been asked for input on professional readings/books and have been asked to sit in on some of our staff development committee meetings, even though I'm not on that particular committee. I lead parental involvement activities and workshops and serve on our district's literacy committee. These are guidelines that have been set for me by principals and my own expectations. We are starting a leveled library and I've been put in charge of setting that up as well. Occasionally, I am asked to test an in-coming kindergarten student if the parents think the child could go straight into first grade, but most of the time one of our kindergarten teachers does that for the district. Hope this helps; let me know if you do other things as well.
I work with our Title one teachers to develop parent involvement activities. I work with groups of children who need intervention (we have a large need that our title I teachers don't have time for); Sit in on Student Assisstant Meetings; Keep records of children who receive intervention.
The hard part is going from the classroom where every minute was planned to basically making up my own schedule. I worry that I could be doing more for the kids.
I was a Reading Specialist in a Middle School once. I was in the same position, administration basically told me to do what I thought needed to be done, but I had no idea where to start. There was a new testing instrument being implemented and I scheduled the classes for testing. I ordered replacement books for the lit sets that the teachers taught from, and occasionally I tested a student for reading level and needs to focus on. I had a very small office with basically room for a bookshelf and a desk and that was it. I would look over potential books for teachers who might want to teach from them, and I would create chapter-by-chapter activities to gauge comprehension. One day I was so bored that I went into the literature library room and cleaned and organized the books.
I think in Elementary there could be so much more to do, as what Susan and you have already mentioned. Good luck with your job! It sounds like a great one.
In my school I work as the reading specialist with first grade with a program that is similiar to Reading Recovery but we service 3 students every 30 min. I monitor for strenghts and weakness and assist parents and teachers with at risk students.
I am at the high school level. My high-performing school doesn't know what to do with me. I have to figure out day by day where I may be of use. Lack of structure is boring me/stressing me out. I have a "caseload" of sorts, but that means one-on-one tutoring and pull-out basically for help w/ standardized testing.
I worked hard to get this position & spent a lot of time in grad school, and I am so disillusioned that I'm ready to hop back into the classroom when I can, yet that feels like "giving up."
I really appreciate reading the different responsibilities at each of the school districts. Currently, I have an endorsement to be a reading teacher. I teach small groups of Title I students. I am starting my masters in reading. Here is my question-Should I take on the extra graduate level coursework to gain the "reading specialist" certificate? Does a reading specialist make more money than a teacher with a masters? It sounds like many of the districts do not have clearly defined job descriptions for the reading specialist. I really enjoy my current job. Please let me know your thoughts as soon as possible. I have a limited amount of time before I sign up for the summer term. Thanks so much!!!!
I taught 1st grade for 12 years. This year administration wanted to create a Reading Specialist job in line with RTI. I have been ok with what I did this year but I do want to do so much more. My job covers reading pull out for grades 2-6. I assessed when new students enrolled. I also did all TPRI testing 4 classes of K,1 and 2 and next year we will add 3rd grade TPRI testing. In Texas, it is all about teaching to the test. So, in grades 4-6 I basically did TAKS remediation. Our kids scored 100% in reading in 3rd and 5th grade.
I know this next year I want to have an Introduction night (where parents can come and listen to a short presentation of how important homework is and what they can do to help) and a Reading Night. We participated in Everybody Reads Day where we had close to 50 parents, grandparents, friends and community leader come in and read with our students. I also want to set up a webpage but not sure where to begin. Any suggestions?
I was wondering did you have a particular intervention program and a progress monitoring in place as well. I am creating a Reading Specialist job in line with RTI. I also will do TPRI testing and that is what I am supposed to pull from that and teacher recommendation. Is there a particular assessment you use to see their growth other than TPRI? Do you have something you offer for parents to do? I love the introduction night idea do you have any ideas about it? New and not getting much feedback on my new job anything to suggest please do. Thanks
I believe the most important job of the reading specialist is in helping school staff (classroom teachers, Title1 teachers, technology teachers, and administrators) understand and interpret the results of high quality, school-wide or district-wide reading assessments, which in turn drives their reading instruction (or at least gets them off to the right start - knowing students' independent and instructional reading levels, etc.). The next would be in sharing specific methods of instruction. You can't force your methods on teachers no matter how "cutting edge" you are. Instead your approach should be to get teachers to reflect on their methods (what works and what does not). "What do you think you could try?" "Wow! Here's some informtion related to that very topic!" You have to have administrative buy in. Without it, school staff will not take you or your role seriously, no matter how much you know. Recently, my chief administrator (who has been supportive of my role in the school)attended a 3-day literacy conference and came back a believer. I'm very grateful because that alone is going to make my job a lot easier from here on out. Best wishes! Tom
I agree with you, Tomreading. Reading Specialists are the reading experts, and your job is to inform, advise, model, etc. but in a tactful way as to rally support of the team. However, that being said, "If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk," so, make sure you know your stuff! The problem with those whose jobs are not well defined is lack of administrator knowledge. Sometimes your job involves educating the administrators! I'd like to suggest a book to give your administrators: Annual Growth, Catchup Growth.
What is the first thing the principal should do when wanting to hire a reading/writting specialist, and once hired what is the first thing the principal should do when bringing the newly hired specialist to the school.
Good heavens! What did you do in RTI with your kids that brought them to 100% proficiency in reading? I have been a part-time Title 1 Reading teacher before (the position was later cut) and now would like to get back in as a Reading teacher again. I did Fry sight words, McCracken Phonics, Cloze Exercises, Poetry and Guided Reading with the younger kids. With the older kids, I used Science articles for their reading fluency and comprehension and Read Naturally. I would LOVE to know what you did to get your 3rd and 5th graders 100% proficient in reading! Also, what kind of student population do you work with? Our population here in Las Cruces, NM is mostly very low with a lot of learning disabilities.