We’ve all heard it before, “Every teacher is a teacher of reading.”
Some may find this saying controversial due to the departmentalization of our education system. One teacher teaches math, another language arts, social studies or science. This is the norm for high schools and middle schools, even in some elementary schools. The system is not set up to allow every teacher to be “a teacher of reading“.
Some teachers have become content and are understandably off put at the idea of having to teach students to read. For those who specialize in math or science, the thought of having to teach reading might be intimidating. But we are entering the ear of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and the standards have brought the idea of “every teacher a teacher of reading” back.
In addition, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2011 reading scores tell us that a large percentage of our students really do need help to read proficiently. Only 34% of fourth graders read at or above a proficient level, and a third of fourth graders read below the basic level for their grade [National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2011]. The story only gets a little better for eighth graders; 34% read at or above a proficient level, and 24% read below basic (NCES, 2011). All educators must therefore band together and embrace the challenge of helping their students become proficient readers, and teacher preparation programs play a huge role in this challenge.
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