How do I get trained as a Reading Recovery teacher?

Reading Recovery operates in school systems and schools. Approach your school Principal about your desire to train as a Reading Recovery teacher. Your school Principal arranges for your training and professional learning.

Prior skills needed for Reading Recovery teachers

Prior to training, teachers will have recent experience teaching literacy in the first three years of schooling and will be experienced teachers (minimum of 5-8 years). Reading Recovery training is additional professional learning. Teachers also need to be skilled in:

  • communicating with the Principal, staff and parents
  • facilitating a school team
  • collaborating with classroom teachers
  • managing, analysing, and explaining information
  • demonstrating and discussing teaching.

Reading Recovery training course

Tutors plan and facilitate Reading Recovery teacher training. The training course involves:

  • assessment training to learn how to identify students for inclusion in Reading Recovery;
  • fortnightly sessions where a group of teachers learn ‘on the job’. They observe and discuss each other’s teaching as it develops over the year (two lessons in each session), collaboratively discuss teaching procedures that lead to student improvement, grounded in theory and explained in a guiding text;
  • on-site school visits by a tutor over the year, to provide support for your teaching, and respond to teacher queries; and
  • daily 30-minute lessons to a minimum of four students, over the year.

Tutors (teacher leaders)

Reading Recovery Tutors attend a year long university training and have a subsequent year of supervision in the field to be qualified to facilitate Reading Recovery teacher training and on-going professional learning.

Tutors continue to teach Reading Recovery interventions to students. Tutors are also engaged in day-to-day planning, teaching and implementation of Reading Recovery lessons.

Ongoing professional learning

Trained teachers

After a year long training course, trained teachers teach students daily and attend ongoing professional learning sessions. Groups of teachers continue to meet to collaboratively explore individual learning, discuss updated professional topics and receive support in their school implementations, with continued requested on-site school visits by Tutors.

Training centres

Groups of teachers meet at facilities where there is a glass-screen. This allows teachers to discuss real-time teaching. These facilities are usually available in local schools. Locality makes it easy for teachers to travel during the day to the facilities.

Theory and procedures

Theoretical background of Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery teaching is based on Clay’s interactive literacy processing theory, in reading and writing. This involves perception (seeing and hearing), and the integration of all sources of information in the head (meaning, structure, visual information and phonological information), and how this information comes together in an orchestrated way, involving phrasing, fluency, pace, and intonation.

Procedures used in Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery procedures are organised around teaching students how to look at print, writing and reading.

Students learn about letters and words; composing stories to write, learning writing vocabulary, hearing and recording sounds in words, analogous links between words and spelling; and learning reading vocabulary, visual analysis of words, how to problem-solve unknown words in print when reading, read in a phrased and fluent way and comprehension.

Supporting the school

The teacher aims to support the school in preventing literacy failure in higher classes by intervening early but not so early as to disallow opportunity for students to engage in the classroom program over the first year of schooling (some students take longer than others), and not so late that students have in-grained confusion, and self-awareness compared to others.

The teacher’s aim whilst the student is on Reading Recovery is to ensure that the student catches up with average achieving classmates in as short a time as possible. (Student interventions vary from 10-20 weeks of daily lessons.)

What do teachers think about their Reading Recovery training?