Career Story: Reading Teacher In An Elementary School

Reading Teacher In An Elementary School

Job Title: Reading Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in San Francisco.

Education: BA, Psychology, Middlebury College •• MA, Reading, Harvard University

Previous Experience: I taught 3rd grade for two years, 1st grade for a year and 5th grade for another two.

Job Tasks: I work with students in small groups to enhance their reading skills. Every day I work with 1st grade students first on their phonics skills and sight word reading. I make sure they know their letter sounds. Next I work with kindergarten students and teach letter names, sounds and how to blend words. The regular classroom teacher is also working with small groups of students. Next I work with 2nd grade readers and do guided reading in small groups. I also do guided reading with 1st graders in the afternoon.

As a reading specialist I also collaborate with classroom teachers and coordinate testing of various kinds. This year I have been giving the SCOE fluency test to students in small groups as well as the diagnostic reading analysis (or DRA) to test students reading levels. I also manage a room of leveled books for the school. Teachers come and choose books for their guided reading groups. Guided reading is when teachers preview a book and then students read independently. After they read the students need to discuss the book as a whole group. I enjoy working with 8 classes although it is a lot at times.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the sweet and funny things the kids say and having a job that is exciting and different every day.

The worst part is dealing with the standardized testing and paperwork from the state. There is a lot of busy-work that teachers have to deal with.

Job Tips: When you want to become a teacher be sure you have the patience to deal with your age group. Take a lot of classroom management courses. Also be sure to get a teaching credential and continue to take classes as you go. Teachers should always be lifelong learners who continue to educate themselves.

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