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Career Story: Elementary School Reading Specialist

Elementary School Reading Specialist

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for the Dedham Public Schools.

Education: BS, Elementary Education, Boston State (now UMass) •• MA, Reading, Boston State •• Curry College for 30+ credits

Previous Experience: None. I started teaching right out of college.

Job Tasks: I am the reading specialist at my school. I work with grades 3, 4, and 5. However I can work with grades one and two, also. I take a reading group from each grade level. My group consists of students from everyone's classroom. I work with them in the areas of reading and writing. I also do assessments of students that I work with as well as students I do not have in my groups. I am a resource for all teachers in the school in the area of language arts. I help to create reading incentives for our whole school, getting authors and illustrators to come in and speak with our students. There's a part-time reading specialist in our building and we are constantly collaborating on projects and student assessments. Both of us are stay in touch with the reading specialist from the other three elementary schools get together on occasion to discuss district-wide assessments and programs. I am very well-versed in technology and constantly use technology to coincide with reading. I also work with classrooms on writing. I will go into classrooms to teach and model writing programs we have in progress in our district. I also have my own Blackboard site with materials and information for teachers to use.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with students and teachers. I love working with the small groups of students in reading and writing. Both areas are passions of mine. I love helping teachers when I can.

The worst part is the difficulty of being behind the scenes at times. I was a classroom teacher for many years and then went into reading. It is difficult when people do not recognize how much work reading specialists do for their schools. There are sometimes as few as one or two reading specialists for 20 classroom teachers. Reading teachers have an easier job? I don't think so.

Job Tips: Keep plugging away. It is really worth it. I love my job. I have been teaching for 36 years.

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