What is a Reading Endorsement?
The Reading Endorsement program is a general overview of teaching reading at every grade level, as well as instruction to better understand a school district and their plan for reading instruction district-wide. The course work focuses on each level, elementary, middle school, and high school, as well as focuses on the district level and the job of an instructional coach to support teachers in their reading instruction.
The program delves into how students’ reading evolves as they move through the education system and provides educators with solutions and strategies to support students at each level. Another advantageous piece of the reading endorsement is learning about current best practice in teaching reading. Throughout the program, educators look at how philosophies or teaching reading have evolved over time, and offers explanation for why there still exists multiple perspectives on how to best teach students to read. The reading endorsement is relevant and timely as state and federal mandates continue to push for closing the achievement and opportunity gaps.
Specifically, I appreciated learning about various reading strategies aimed at younger grade levels, because it allowed for me to adapt strategies I use with students of varying levels within my classroom. I was able to see how reading can be adapted throughout K-12 and gain tools to better differentiate for all of my students, especially those that are reluctant to read or have specific learning needs. Overall, I believe that the reading endorsement made me a better educator because it allowed me to build my self-efficacy in my instruction.
What You’ll learn in a Reading Endorsement Program
Throughout the reading endorsement program, educators learn about teaching reading and supporting readers at every level. This provides all teachers with a broad scope of reading in schools, and supports educator development of understanding how to best support students in reading. As educators, we are charged with being able to differentiate for our learners and provide educational supports which will build skills toward proficiency. Within the reading endorsement program, educators learn about specific reading strategies that can be adapted to meet a wide range of learners and be adapted to any grade level.
Educators are also asked to problem-solve ways they can adapt strategies to fit their content area or own classroom. The discussions and assignments throughout the reading endorsement program are applicable to the classroom and require educators to reflect on their own practices while learning new tools to implement into their current teaching.
Within the program, there are multiple clinical experiences that fit into the course work. Through these hours, educators are able to step into new classrooms and experience working with students are various levels. Each clinical experience required different tasks, which I found to be very beneficial. There was opportunity for providing small-group and whole-class instruction, implementing assessments with students, and the opportunity to provide intervention and progress monitoring using evidence-based reading strategies. I found these experiences to be especially beneficial when working in my own school to then implement interventions under our schools Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model. I felt better equipped to approach my own classroom and support students after having had these clinical experiences.
The reading endorsement program allowed me to view reading differently and make changes to my classroom due to the new understandings in my own philosophy of reading, which I gained throughout the course work.
Advantages of a Reading Endorsement
The reading endorsement is beneficial for all educators because all educators support students through various reading tasks. Whether a primary teacher is working with emerging readers or a high school science teacher is supporting students to read their content, the reading endorsement can be an excellent way for educators to deeply understand the reading process and build skills to better instruct in their specific areas.
The program provides professional advancement in that it enables an educator to be better equipped to meet students’ needs in reading and all content areas as well as open doors for educators to support other teachers. Whether being a teacher leader or looking for instructional coach positions, the reading endorsement broadens an educator’s understanding of student learning and how to best support the needs of both students and teachers. Because the reading endorsement adds to your teaching license, it enables teachers to broaden their eligible areas of instruction.
Overall, I believe the reading endorsement program provided me with the knowledge and skills to be a better practitioner. Not only did the program give me a better understanding of students learning, it built my confidence in my ability to analyze my students’ needs, determine interventions and supports, deliver effective instruction, communicate with colleagues and parents effectively, and feel better about the decisions I make in my classroom for my students. The knowledge I gained from the reading endorsement program is vital in my development as an educator and the instruction I now offer my students.
Want to broaden your knowledge about reading instruction in your classroom? Explore our literacy degree with reading endorsement program to get started!