Becoming a Reading Specialist

How to Become a Reading Teacher

Reading is more than just a lesson for young learners. It’s central to their development in nearly every aspect of their lives. For educators who are interested in dedicating their time to instilling solid literacy skills in today’s children, learning how to become a reading teacher is the first step. As schools look to improve the quality of reading education, you might find that the best approach to a reading specialist career is by obtaining a Master of Education with a Reading Specialist focus from a reputable online program like the one offered by the University of Cincinnati. Not only can this positively impact the number of job opportunities available to you, it will also put you in a better position for higher starting wages. But a master’s degree isn’t the only component for how to become a reading teacher.

Education and Certification for Reading Teachers
Education and certification requirements are different depending on the state you are employed in, but there are some general trends that many schools consider for reading specialists. Because literacy is such an important subject, more and more schools are looking for highly educated reading teachers with a degree that features a specialization in reading. Some schools accept a bachelor’s degree to get hired, but because of the increasing competition for opportunities, educators with a master’s degree can edge out competition early on. Over the course of your career, you’ll likely have to earn a Master of Education degree at some point, so making the decision to pursue one while learning how to become a reading teacher could strengthen your background and ultimately benefit you more.

Many educators find online degree programs appealing because they are flexible and can be completed without leaving the classroom. Ensuring that your online degree program is reputable and of high quality is essential when choosing to go that route. Be sure to check the accreditation of the schools you are most interested in and verify that they are regionally accredited by one of these organizations: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Some online degree programs, like the Master of Education program at the University of Cincinnati, offer additional accreditation that could further assist you in gaining the certification you’ll need to start your reading teacher career. At the University of Cincinnati, the Reading Specialist focus of the Master of Education program has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which means it meets the standards set by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium. Highly qualified programs make for highly qualified educators, so reading teachers should always keep in mind their certification strategy when choosing a Master of Education program.

The certification that reading specialists need also varies from state to state, so check your state’s Department of Education website to understand your specific state requirements. In general, educators must take state courses in order to get a license followed by passing state examinations. Additionally, reading specialists can also seek national certification through professional organizations like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that will make it easier if you relocate to a state that doesn’t accept your state’s licensing standards.

How Online Programs Work
Depending on the school you attend, the way your online courses are delivered can be a diverse and enriching education experience. When considering an online master’s degree like the program offered at the University of Cincinnati, research how you will complete the necessary coursework. Some schools utilize impressive learning management systems that rely on the latest technological advancements, delivering your education through interactive exercises, discussion boards, instant chat sessions and fully digital libraries for your research. The days of having to settle for a simple distance learning delivery based on correspondence are long gone, and the Department of Education has actually found that online education oftentimes has better retention of lessons for students than traditional course delivery methods.

It’s also important to consider who will be teaching you in your online Master of Education. Look for faculty who has extensive experience in subjects that you are interested in to maximize your education experience. What makes online education so effective for reading teachers is the ability to troubleshoot new strategies you learn in your actual classroom environment with a full support system of knowledgeable instructors and cohorts. This will make your understanding of how to become a reading teacher even greater by relying on the networking possibilities with educators located around the world.

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