Role of a Literacy Coach.docx - Ogden School District

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					Role of a Literacy Coach
The International Reading Association (IRA) defines a literacy coach or a reading coach as a
reading specialist who focuses on providing professional development for teachers by giving
them the additional support needed to implement various instructional programs and practices.
They provide essential leadership for a school’s entire literacy program by helping create and
supervise long-term staff development processes that support both the development and
implementation of literacy programs over months and years. These individuals need to have
experiences that enable them to provide effective professional development for the teachers in
their schools.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) prefers the terminology “literacy coach”
because it suggests that educators in this role work with teachers to improve instruction in all
areas of the language arts – reading, writing, and oral language development. They also assist
teachers in the design and teaching of lessons in other content disciplines where students
continue to develop and use their literacy skills.

Qualifications of a Literacy Coach
The International Reading Association (IRA) has defined needed preparation for literacy coaches
as part of their standards. Standard 5 especially addresses literacy coaches and futher
qualifications are embedded in other standards as well. Looking at this source will be helpful to
colleges and universities as they prepare for NCATE and other state accreditations.

http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/reports/professional_standards.html

IRA believes that literacy coaches ought to meet the following qualifications:

      Previous teaching experience
      Master’s degree with concentration in reading education
      A minimum of 24 graduate semester hours in reading and language arts and related
       courses
      An additional 6-semester hours of supervised practicum experience.

At times educators chosen to be literacy coaches do not have all of the qualifications suggested
by IRA, but do need to be successful teachers who are very knowledgeable about literacy
development, curriculum, and instruction. They may be asked to enroll in continued professional
development through their school district, state, or universities in order to continue building their
knowledge of literacy, literacy instruction, and literacy coaching.

IRA, NCTE, and the professional associations of several other content areas have developed
Standards for MS/HS Literacy Coaches. These may be found at
http://www.reading.org/downloads/resources/597coaching_standards.pdf
Role of a Reading Coach
The International Reading Association (IRA) defines a reading coach or a literacy coach as a
reading specialist who focuses on providing professional development for teachers by providing
them with the additional support needed to implement various instructional programs and
practices. They provide essential leadership for a school’s entire literacy program by helping
create and supervise long-term staff development processes that supports both the development
and implementation of the literacy programs over months and years. These individuals need to
have experiences that enable them to provide effective professional development for the teachers
in their schools.

The terminology of “reading coach” has been used extensively in Reading First and is often
more associated with coaching at the elementary school level. Educators in this role work most
frequently with teachers to improve their reading instruction. Normally, they do not work nearly
as much with teachers to improve their writing instruction.

Qualifications of a Reading Coach
The International Reading Association (IRA) believes that reading coaches ought to meet the
following qualifications:

      Previous teaching experience
      Master’s degree with concentration in reading education
      A minimum of 24 graduate semester hours in reading and language arts and related
       courses
      An additional 6-semester hours of supervised practicum experience.

At times educators chosen to be reading coaches do not have all of the qualifications suggested
by IRA, but do need to be successful teachers who are very knowledgeable about literacy
development, curriculum, and instruction. They are often expected to enroll in continued
professional develop through their school district, state, or universities in order to continue
development of their knowledge of reading and reading instruction.
Role of the Instructional Coach
At the middle and high school level, a coach is often called an “instructional coach” rather than a
“literacy coach,” “reading coach,” or “reading specialist.” In some contexts secondary teachers
are more open to this terminology. The concept is that the coach assists teachers to develop
instructional strategies that will help students use and continue to build their literacy skills
through content learning rather than implying that content teachers need to become literacy
teachers or reading teachers per se. Content teachers’ focus is first on content; each discipline
has particular vocabulary, uses of language, written genre and so on that students need to learn.
Instructional coaches help teachers improve the quality of their instruction, combining both
content and literacy.

Qualifications of Instructional Coaches
IRA and NCTE have worked together with the professional associations of several content
disciplines to prepare the following document that outlines qualifications for middle and high
school instructional coaches, literacy coaches, reading coaches, and reading specialists.

http://www.reading.org/downloads/resources/597coaching_standards.pdf

Additionally, IRA and NCTE have worked together to develop the Self-Assessment for Middle
and High School Literacy Coaches. This document helps literacy/instructional coaches
determine those areas where they personally need further professional development.

http://www.literacycoachingonline.org/library/resources/
self-assessmentformshsliteracycoaches.html
Role of a Reading Specialist
The International Reading Association (IRA) defines a reading specialist as a teacher for
students experiencing reading difficulties, as a literacy or reading coach, or as a supervisor or
coordinator of reading/literacy. Many reading specialists work solely with children or
adolescents. Others hold positions where they divide their time between working with children or
adolescents as a reading specialist and working with teachers as a literacy coach or a reading
coach.

Qualifications of a Reading Specialist
The following qualifications for reading specialists are taken from the Standards of the
International Reading Association (IRA).

Category III: Reading Specialist

Works at the early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, and/or or adult levels.

Fulfills a number of responsibilities and many have a specific focus that further defines their
duties. For example, a reading specialist can serve as a teacher for students experiencing reading
difficulties; as a literacy or reading coach; or as a supervisor or coordinator of reading/literacy.
The reading specialist must be prepared to fulfill the duties of all three of these:

      A reading intervention teacher is a reading specialist who provides intensive instruction to
       struggling readers. Such instruction may be provided either within or outside the students’
       classrooms.
      A reading coach or a literacy coach is a reading specialist who focuses on providing professional
       development for teachers by providing them with the additional support needed to implement
       various instructional programs and practices. They provide essential leadership for the school’s
       entire literacy program by helping create and supervise a long-term staff development process
       that supports both the development and implementation of the literacy program over months
       and years. These individuals need to have experiences that enable them to provide effective
       professional development for the teachers in their schools.
      A reading supervisor or reading coordinator is a reading specialist who is responsible for
       developing, leading, and evaluating a school reading program, from kindergarten through grade
       12. They may assume some of the same responsibilities as the literacy coach, but in addition
       have responsibilities that require them to work more with systematic change at the school level.
       These individuals need to have experiences that enable them to work effectively as an
       administrator and to be able to develop and lead effective professional development programs.

May include these additional responsibilities:

      Serves as a resource in the area of reading for paraprofessionals, teachers, administrators, and
       the community.
      Works cooperatively and collaboratively with other professionals in planning programs to meet
       the needs of diverse populations of learners.
      Provides professional development opportunities at the local and state levels.
      Provides leadership in student advocacy.

It is expected that the reading specialist will meet the following qualifications:

      Previous teaching experience
      Master’s degree with concentration in reading education:
      A minimum of 24 graduate semester hours in reading and language arts and related courses
      An additional 6-semester hours of supervised practicum experience.

				
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