Roles of the Reading Specialist
Session #1, May 11 - Introductions
Cohort/Non-cohort class members
When do you finish school?
Say a little something about yourself
◦ Professional Responsibilities
◦ Something else about you as a literate
being or teacher – a favorite book or
reading experience, a reason you became
a teacher, etc.
May 11-June 8 – ICN, 6:00-9:00
◦ Guest speakers
◦ Small group reading & responding, online
and in ICN sessions
◦ Whole group debriefs
June 9-June 25: Online
◦ Course Content assignment pages
◦ Expect daily work, 4-8 hrs or more/day
Final Essay due July 5
PBworks Wiki – to be used with Final Essay
Weekly Assignments – ICN Classes
“For class, read and respond - GQCQ” = Read
thoughtfully & come to class prepared to discuss.
◦ Gist statements
◦ Write all four of these? Not necessarily . . .
◦ You may be given more specific directions for
“Online” = eLearning discussion board.
◦ Discussion Groups
◦ Usually includes original post (OP) and response to
one or more OPs.
◦ Specific prompts and/or GQCQ
Online Discussion Groups-
Group 1 ICN Site Group 2 ICN Site
Emily C. C. Falls Jamie M. Clear Lake
Jackie McD. C. Rapids Melissa D. C. Rapids
Lindsey K. Muscatine Lorie H. Greene
Gwendolyn D. C. Rapids
Group 3 ICN Site Group 4 ICN Site
Stefanie R. C. Rapids Jennifer R. C. Rapids
Tabitha W. C. Falls Kara N. Odebolt
Laura S. Greene Kristie B. C. Falls
Group 5 ICN Site Group 6 ICN Site
Kelsi S. C. Rapids Sheila McC. C. Rapids
Korie F. C. Falls Victor E. C. Falls
Alaina D. C. Rapids Heidi M. Elgin
Assignments after June 8 - Online
Located at eLearning Course Content.
Will use Web Links and Discussion
Board as well.
Same type of GQCQ responses
Choice – Elementary or Secondary
Collaborative – using PBworks wiki to
help each other (discussion groups)
More information next week
Overview of resources
Textbook: Reading Specialists & Literacy
Coaches in the Real World (RSLC)
Professional Journal Articles & Web Sites
to provide multiple perspectives and
Objectives for May 11-May18
◦ Orientation to the Class
◦ Acquire a general sense of who the
reading specialists are and what they do.
During the week:
◦ Learn and reflect on IRA professional
standards related to roles of reading
◦ Learn about program development and
strategic planning (RSLC, chs. 2 & 3)
Who are the Reading Specialists? What do
they do? (What is your Prior Knowledge?)
What do think the roles of a reading specialist
might be? Develop your ideas a little bit.
What qualifications do you think are required to
be a reading specialist?
What contact have you had with reading
specialists? What did the specialists do with/for/to
What do reading specialists do?
Program Teaching &
•These roles comprise strands of the course content and learning outcomes
•Another learning outcome – Envisioning yourself as a reading specialist
What do reading specialist do?
According to IRA . . .
Position Statement: The Role and Qualifications of the
Reading Coach in the United States (2004):
With the recent heavy focus on reading
achievement at federal, state, and local levels in
the United States, the role of the reading specialist
has changed. Although reading specialists function
in many roles, including remedial teacher, staff
developer, supervisor, and mentor, the balance of
their activities has shifted away from direct teaching
and toward leadership and professional
development roles . . . .
Qualifications as defined by IRA
Excellent and experienced classroom teachers
In-depth knowledge of literacy processes,
acquisition, assessment, and instruction
Accustomed to reflecting on their own practices
and making adaptations that improve instruction
Experience or preparation that enables them to
master the complexities of observing and
modeling in classrooms and providing feedback
Sensitive to the need to develop open, trusting
relationships with teachers in order to serve
effectively in a coaching role.
Qualifications as defined by Iowa
Reading Specialist, K-12: Same requirements as
Reading K-8 or Reading 5-12 endorsement PLUS
◦ Administration & Supervision of Reading (this course)
◦ Master’s Degree
◦ One year’s teaching experience that includes the
teaching of reading
None of these are required for the job, but . . .
Who Are the Reading Specialists?
Formal vs. Informal definitions of the term
Building Level - Literacy or Reading Coach,
Title One teacher, classroom teacher who has
been identified as a literacy leader
District Level – Curriculum supervisor who
has responsibility for Reading, Language Arts,
and other literacy-related areas. May be sole
responsibility or one of several.
A Word About Literacy Coaches
Same as Reading Specialist?
Relatively new position – NCLB
IRA = “Reading Coach”
NCTE = “Literacy Coach”
Joint IRA/NCTE Web Site:
Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse
(We will review this web site later in the semester)
Recent journal articles
IRA Professional Standards
eLearning document includes only the first three
of these strands (Course Content/For May 18, or
RSLC, Appendix J)
Five major standards, each consisting of a
definition and supporting standards (“elements”)
◦ Foundational Knowledge
◦ Instructional Practices & Materials
◦ Literate Environment
◦ Professional Development
IRA Professional Standards
Standards written in five strands, one for each
different level of reading professional:
◦ Classroom Teacher
◦ Reading Specialist
◦ Teacher Educator
Assignment for May 18: Read & Reflect on
the IRA Professional Standards
Read the standards, one element at a time for each
of the three strands. Then respond (GQCQ) to
these questions and be prepared to share your
responses in class:
What is critical for the reading specialist? Key
competencies and skills? List the verbs!
If you are going to be a Reading Specialist, what
do you already know, and what do you need to
learn? Set some personal learning goals.
Assignment for May 17/18: Program
Development & Strategic Planning
◦ RSLC, chs. 2 & 3
◦ eLearning Web Links For May 18: Two articles
from The Reading Teacher describing school
programs that were shaped by a strategic planning
Due by May 17: Write separate GQCQ
responses for each of the chapters and each
of the articles on Strategic Planning
Due by class on May 18: Read through your
discussion group members' responses and be
prepared to share ideas from them in class
Assignment for May 17/18
Course Content/For May 18
Read Discussion Board – Groups &
Read Syllabus (but not until Monday)