What is a Master’s in Language and Literacy Special Reading?
When you are working towards your master’s degree in language and literacy special reading, the end goal is for you to be a certified K-12 reading specialist. You will be able to work with any grade level from elementary to high school. A reading specialist will spend most of his/her time working with readers who test below grade level. As a reading specialist, you will work with classroom teachers to look at data from district reading assessments to see what students would benefit from extra reading instruction. You will put together small groups of students and plan lessons to help them make progress in the areas of reading and comprehension. The general goal of this program is to help you prepare to take a reading specialist position. However, the program will also help with classroom reading instruction.
What You’ll Learn in a Language and Literacy Special Reading Program
In order to take a position as a reading specialist there is a lot to learn. The master’s in language and literacy special reading will help you to learn these necessary skills. You will spend a lot of time looking at different assessments you can use to diagnose student reading needs. It is important to know the exact reason students are struggling with reading. Even if you work at a school that has a specific reading assessment to use, it is still very beneficial to have this information available to you. At my district, we have a specific reading assessment to assess students’ reading levels. However, I have used an assessment I learned about from this program to help me find a more specific area of need for a student.
You will also spend a lot of time completing research over strategies you can use with the students you work with. You will choose an area of reading to do more research over and spend a lot of time reading peer-reviewed articles and studies that give insight into how you can best help students. I was very fascinated with vocabulary instruction and its effect on comprehension. I did a lot of research over this area of reading which led to me completely change how I teach guided reading. You will also learn about other roles of a reading specialist such as planning family literacy nights and presenting professional development sessions to staff.
At the end of the program, you will complete two different practicum experiences. The first one will require you to work with students outside of your current certification. I am certified to teach elementary so I worked with middle school students. The second practicum will require you to complete a research project with students from your own class. This was an amazing experience. I took all of the research I had completed during the program and used that research to work with a small group of students. I recorded the results I found and completed an analysis of my findings. The research project I completed was published through The Missouri Reader.
Advantages of a Language and Literacy Special Reading Master’s Degree
When I started to consider going back to school to get a master’s degree, I was at a pivotal point in my career as a teacher. I had used a scripted program for the first two years and had no freedom in my teaching at all. At the beginning of my third year, new administration took over and basically gave us freedom during the entire day to teach how we felt was best until they could find curriculum that best fit the needs of our school. I honestly felt like I had no idea what I was doing. This pushed me to want to find an amazing master’s degree program to further my learning.
There are many advantages of this language and literacy special reading master’s degree program. One of the advantages was the wealth of knowledge I was able to immediately take back to my classroom. I felt more prepared and confident to mold my reading block to best fit the needs of my students. When I go into team meetings now, I feel confident in myself to talk about reading strategies and ways to help students. When I look at reading data quarterly, I know what I am looking at and the best ways to help my students make progress in reading. These are all advantages of completing this program and staying in the regular education classroom.
There are also other advantages such as other positions you can qualify for with this degree. When you have a master’s degree, it can open up other opportunities within education. If you are interested in becoming a reading specialist, this is the obvious master’s degree to choose. I have also seen positions where school districts will hire a reading specialist coordinator. You would be able to work with all of the reading specialists in the districts. I am personally interested in both of these positions in the future.
Ready to take the next step in your career and get your master’s degree? Check out our M.Ed. in Language and Literacy Special Reading program today!