Teacher Education for Reading Teachers

If you have a passion for reading, are patient and enjoy working with children, a career as a reading teacher may be a good fit for you. Read on for more information about educational and licensing requirements, as well as what you can earn as an elementary, middle or high school teacher.

Is Teaching Reading for Me?

Career Overview

Reading teachers are responsible for promoting literacy and reading comprehension among school-aged children. Typically working with students at the K-12 grade levels, they assess students' reading levels, develop lesson plans designed to help students improve their reading skills and administer reading assignments. As a reading teacher, you may work at both private and public elementary, middle and high schools, as well as in tutoring centers.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected an average growth in employment for elementary and middle school teachers from 2012-2022, with a slower-than-average increase in openings expected for high school teachers in the same period. More opportunities may be available in rural and inner city areas, so if you're willing to relocate, you'll likely improve your chances of finding work. In May 2013, the BLS also reported that the average annual salary for elementary school teachers was $56,320, while middle school teachers earned $56,630. As of May 2013, secondary school teachers earned a mean annual salary of $58,260 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work as a Reading Teacher?

Education

Like all teachers, those who specialize in reading must complete a bachelor's degree in education before they can begin working. For example, you may pursue a 4-year program in early childhood or elementary education, language arts or secondary education. As an aspiring reading teacher, you may study educational psychology, child development and behavioral management. Topics in American, children's or world literature might also be included.

As an undergraduate, you'll also complete fieldwork, which may involve observing teachers in the classroom and teaching supervised lessons. If you pursue graduate studies, you may take advanced courses in literacy development and reading program administration, as well as learn how to assess and diagnose reading problems or assist struggling readers.

Licensing

A bachelor's degree in a relevant area of study can help you prepare for state licensure, a requirement in most public schools. Licensing criteria can vary; reading specialists may need to meet additional requirements, such as a master's degree or graduate certificate in reading education.

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