The International Literacy Association (ILA) defines specialized literacy professionals as those who have advanced certification, support student learning, and have one or more of the primary roles and responsibilities specified below. Regardless of role, all specialized literacy professionals need leadership, facilitation and communication skills to perform effectively in their respective roles and in collaboration with other educators.
- Reading/literacy specialists.
- Literacy coaches.
- Literacy coordinators/supervisors.
As a specialized reading and literacy professional in your school, you will be in a leadership position, able to provide guidance to the reading staff as you work in collaboration with them.
The Reading Situation for Louisiana Students
Statewide literacy assessments for Louisiana show that more than a third of students in kindergarten through third grade did not make the cut in 2016, per the state's standardized reading screener, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Next.
What this data reveals is an urgent need for Louisiana teachers to concentrate on helping students become better readers. As a teaching professional with a master's degree in reading and literacy, you will be prepared to help improve that situation in your school and community.
Developing Your School's Reading Staff
A recent ILA conference for teachers, school administrators, reading specialists, instructional coaches, teacher educators and other literacy professionals focused on how to improve standardized testing scores and foster a love of reading in their students. One of the points agreed upon was that "in order for professional development to be effective, the entire staff must be invested in a shared vision and set of goals."
Your role as a reading and literacy specialist provides you with the opportunity to help develop your school's reading staff and ensure that the entire staff is invested and has shared goals. Instructional coaching can take place in the form of team-teaching, modeling, collaborative planning and constructive feedback. Coaching teachers, aides and volunteers in effective communication, time management, instruction planning, learning assessment and more creates an environment where all of the reading staff works as a team.
The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy
LSU Shreveport has a fully online program for teachers, designed to give you the skills to serve as a reading specialist in any K-12 grade level.
You can complete the 36-credit-hour M.Ed. program in as few as 24 months, and you will gain the skills you need to provide direct reading intervention as well as the knowledge you will need to plan and conduct reading staff development. You will also learn how to develop and coordinate reading programs.
Graduates of this program will be prepared for the various roles of teacher and diagnostician, intervention provider, curriculum designer, professional developer, coach/mentor/supervisor, literacy program evaluator, action researcher, and literacy leader, all necessary to become a reading specialist and literacy coach.
Learn more about the LSUS online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy program.
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