For Teacher Leaders

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For Teacher Leaders 2017-09-05T14:39:18+00:00

Training for Teacher Leaders

Reading Recovery teacher leaders are key people with a complex role requiring a wide range of skills obtained in a full academic year of professional development

They are leaders in their local districts where they teach children, train Reading Recovery teachers for local schools, maintain contact with past trainees, analyze and report student outcomes, educate the local educators, advocate for what cannot be compromised, and communicate with the public.

Teacher leaders are selected by a school district or consortium of districts that has made a commitment to implement Reading Recovery. For more details about requirements for teacher leader selection and professional development see the Standards and Guidelines for the United States and for Canada (PDF). Teacher leaders in the U.S. must have a master’s degree. Candidates in both countries must have teaching credentials, effective teaching experience, and leadership potential.

The teacher leader candidate attends a registered university training center in the United States or a regional institute in Canada for an academic year of full-time professional development. Their complex role requires them to

  • become Reading Recovery teachers
  • develop an academic understanding of the theoretical concepts upon which Reading Recovery is based and a flexibility to consider new concepts and practices
  • test practice against theoretical concepts
  • critically appraise Reading Recovery’s strengths and problem spots as well as competing explanations for its success
  • observe and work through the experiences of a teacher trainee group across an academic year with the support of experienced teacher leaders in the field
  • help teachers develop competency in individualized assessment-based instruction to improve student achievement
  • become skilled at working with adult learners in order to effect significant change in teachers’ practice
  • develop a thorough knowledge of the whole operation of Reading Recovery in an education system including organizing and administering the teacher training course and evaluating and reporting student outcomes
  • become skilled at working with local administrators (e.g., site coordinator, principals)
  • develop interactive system-level leadership skills

In order to accomplish these goals during the initial year of professional learning, teacher leader candidates teach four Reading Recovery students daily; participate in graduate-level classes that include teaching sessions; engage in course work to explore theoretical concepts in reading, writing, language, literacy difficulties, and adult learning theory; participate in leadership seminars and practica that include field work at established sites; and prepare their home districts for Reading Recovery implementation.

After the initial year, teacher leaders return to full-time positions in their districts/sites and ongoing professional development. They continue to learn during this field year with the guidance and support of their university trainer(s). They teach children daily in Reading Recovery, train Reading Recovery teachers, and provide leadership for site implementation with the support of the site coordinator (the administrator responsible for overseeing and managing the implementation of Reading Recovery). Teacher leaders oversee data collection on all Reading Recovery children and use evaluation data to work with school leadership teams to improve student performance and implementation factors.

As long as they are in the role, teacher leaders participate in regularly scheduled professional development sessions conducted by university trainers. They also attend a national or regional conference each year and participate in an annual required national Teacher Leader Institute to ensure current knowledge about all aspects of their roles.