Reading specialists generally work at elementary and middle schools to help students develop their reading skills, and may occasionally work with high school students, as well.
Reading specialists often work with teachers to help them create efficient plans to teach reading skills in the classroom and may sit in on classes to carry out evaluations. They may also have to coach through classroom demonstrations, so strong public speaking skills are highly beneficial. In some positions, the specialist may have to develop the overall curriculum to aid the teachers and create reports based on its effectiveness. Knowledge of dyslexia is also important, as they may work with dyslexic students on a regular basis.
Some reading specialists provide services for multiple schools within a district, so travel between these schools may be necessary. Hours will vary, but the job is generally carried out during regular school hours. It is essential to have advanced reading and writing skills in order to effectively teach them to students. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in education or a related field is generally required, and some employers may also require reading and literacy certifications. There are both part-time and full-time positions available.
Reading Specialist Tasks
Build rapport and develop agreements with preschool and family child care programs.
May mentor or supervise other reading coaches.
Advocate for and support early literacy knowledge and skills development.
Determine literacy training needs and develop a training course utilizing traditional and non-traditional methods.
Research and assess literacy training needs, and helps develop or improve literacy curriculum.