Reading is an essential skill, but literacy only develops when students encounter books or when parents read aloud to them, which accelerates “phonological awareness” — an understanding of the structure of language. The sooner parents begin reading to their children, the better. However, despite parents’ best efforts, there will always be students who struggle with reading. Becoming a master reading teacher can give educators the tools and strategies they need to develop literacy in students of all ability levels.
History of the Master Reading Teacher
The master reading teacher program in Texas comes from House Bill 2307, passed in 1999. It was a Texas Reading Initiative to ensure that all students could read at grade level by the third grade. The master reading teacher certification (MRT) was established as one way to ensure that schools had the resources they needed to meet the mandates of the Initiative.
To become a master reading teacher in Texas, you must take a group of mandatory classes, earn a master’s degree with an emphasis in literacy, and pass the MRT exam. One way to address all of these requirements is by enrolling in an online master’s degree program, such as the University of Texas at Arlington’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in literacy program.
Students in this program learn techniques to help struggling readers; they can then bring these techniques back not only to their own classrooms but also to their colleagues’. Mentoring colleagues who need help and improving their skill-sets is a good way to become a leader on campus.
Benefits of Becoming a Master Reading Teacher
The primary benefit of becoming a master reading teacher is learning different strategies to help struggling readers. In addition, many districts offer higher salaries to teachers with master’s degrees, especially those who can write curricula or teach professional development. If you are looking to advance your teaching career and move into administration or curriculum development, earning a master’s degree with an emphasis in literacy offers you the knowledge and skills you need.
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