Educators and parents agree that reading is an important — even critical — life skill. But not all children learn to read easily or at the same pace. Consequently, there is an ongoing demand for educators who specialize in reading instruction and have the ability to work with students with varying degrees of difficulty learning to read.
Professionals with a reading-focused master's degree in education have a variety of career options with their advanced degree.
- Reading Specialist
According to the International Reading Association, "Reading specialists are professionals with advanced preparation and experience in reading who have responsibility for the literacy performance of readers in general and struggling readers in particular." A reading specialist supports and supplements classroom teaching, working collaboratively with the general education teacher to meet the needs of students.
- Literacy Coach
The National Council of Teachers of English notes that there are multiple definitions of literacy coaching and that coaching models have resulted in very different practices. For their purposes, the primary role of the literacy coach "is to support teachers to become more reflective, to refine what they are doing, to set goals, and to share with another their least successful instructional attempts." Literacy coaches provide support and resources for teachers as they sharpen their teaching skills.
- Reading Teacher
As specialists in reading and literacy, reading teachers are involved in all aspects of reading, speaking, listening, and writing instruction. The reading teacher may work collaboratively with the classroom teacher or may have a separate room where students who need additional support come for one-on-one or small group instruction. Reading teachers may also work with students who have learning disabilities at all grade levels, and adapt lessons in all content areas to meet the needs of the students.
- Reading Interventionist
A reading interventionist works with students who do not meet the standards set for each grade level. Typically, the interventionist screens students to detect reading disorders and identify those in need of additional instruction. If students are not progressing academically at the same rate as their peers and are at risk for failing a state's "high stakes" end-of-year achievement tests, the reading interventionist provides enhanced opportunities to learn. Student progress is monitored regularly, and the intensity, content and delivery of interventions are adjusted to meet the needs of individual students.
Obtaining a Master of Science in Education in Reading Degree
Educators who want to work with students with diverse learning styles and reading levels can obtain a Master of Science in Education in Reading through the fully online program at Northwest Missouri State University.
This 30-hour online program is flexible, offers multiple start dates, and has accelerated coursework. Experienced educators at all levels can complete this master's program in as few as 12 months. Courses include Data Literacy and Assessment, Multicultural Education, and Literacy-Based Assessment and Analysis, among others. Field experience is required at both the elementary and secondary levels.
Students who complete the program will be equipped to develop reading and writing curricula along with appropriate assessments. In addition, they learn how to create effective learning environments using programs and strategies that promote literacy at all levels.
Learn more about Northwest Missouri State University's online MSEd. in Reading program.
Sources:Reading Rockets: RTI and Reading: Response to Intervention in a Nutshell
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