Job Title: Literacy Specialist
Education: BA in English Lit, Concentration in creative writing, Haverford College MEd in Early Childhood Education, Lesley University CAS in Reading, Mass General Hospital Institute of Health Practitioners
Previous Experience: I was a first grade classroom teacher for three years. Then I taught Reading Recovery, a one-to-one program that supports struggling first grade readers, for four years. I was also the co-director of a professional development organization for teachers. I led summer institutes, coordinated inservice, created and taught graduate courses, wrote articles and supervised other staff.
Job Tasks: I work in an elementary school. I have numerous and varied responsibilities. No two days or two weeks are alike. The main focus of my job is doing professional development with teachers. I frequently gather resources, develop curriculum and then work in one classroom, or at one grade level, for several weeks at a time, modeling lessons and co-teaching.
I also work with individual and small groups of students who are struggling in reading and writing. Currently, I am working one-on-one with Kindergarten students, for 15-minute sessions, four times/week. I also run an early morning reading fluency group. Twelve students in grades 2-4 work on a computer program designed to increase their reading rate, for 20 minutes, four times per week. Soon, I will be starting an afterschool group that will help students prepare for the state standardized test.
Students are formally assessed three times per school year. I help with assessments and collect assessment data on all of the students and am responsible for designing support for struggling readers and writers. I also help teachers use the data to create reading groups and tailor instruction to students' needs. I supervise instructional aides who work with small groups of students. I test students in English and Language Arts for special education evaluations and make recommendations for instruction.
A few times a year, I lead district-wide workshops. I train staff in many education programs. I often consult with teachers about students, curriculum, and teaching strategies. I have just set up several parent-child book groups, which will be held outside of school at students' homes. I organize summer reading programs and schoolwide events. On African-American Read-In Day, the entire school reads one book by an African-American author. On Read Across America day, guest readers will visit each classroom. In the spring, all children and teachers dress as vocabulary words and community judges are brought in to judge our vocabulary parade. Twice a year, I solicit book donations and students bring in books and take home new reading material in a schoolwide book swap.
Sometimes I make presentations for parents at PTO meetings or for the Superintendant or School Council.
I am constantly learning, reading, and exploring new questions.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: There are many things I enjoy about the job. I like working with teachers and students. I love teaching writing. I get a lot of satisfaction when students grow as readers, writers and thinkers. I am always learning new things and I enjoy that each day is different from the day before.
1. Learn as much as you can about teaching, learning, reading, writing, speaking and listening. You can never have too much information.
2. Much of the job, as in many jobs, is negotiating personalities, finding ways to work together with teachers without making them feel threatened, sussing out how to be helpful and how to value teachers' time.
Additional Thoughts: There's a great professional community of literacy teachers with many journals, conferences, and online resources out there. If you enjoy professional conversation, there is lots to be found.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
LSU Shreveport is a proud member of the acclaimed LSU University System.
Columbus State University is committed to delivering a deeply personal and relevant academic experience that prepares graduates to excel in their professions and to become leaders who guide, influence and inspire positive change.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs
At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Elementary School Teachers, including: