Reading Recovery® is a professional development project with a two-tier level of curriculum that is effectively replicated in Illinois, across the United States and internationally. Descubriendo La Lectura (DLL) is the reconstruction of Reading Recovery® in Spanish. University faculty provide professional development to teacher leaders who work at school district sites providing professional development to Reading Recovery® teachers. This professional development model for teachers was first implemented by New Zealand psychologist and researcher Dr. Marie Clay. Since its first implementation in the United States in 1984, more than 20,000 Reading Recovery® teachers have served nearly two million children.
Children in first grade who are having the greatest difficulty learning to read and write receive a short term series of individually designed lessons prepared by highly qualified teachers.
The goal is for each child to experience accelerated progress during a period of 12-20 weeks of daily 30-minute customized lessons. Combining the individualized nature of instructional methods with continuing professional development for teachers contributes to faster-than-usual student progress.
A Reading Recovery teacher leader serves on a district literacy leadership team after successfully completing one year of post graduate coursework at National-Louis University. One teacher leader may provide initial training for 8-12 early intervention teachers and over time continuing professional development for up to 45 teachers each year.
The teacher leader training is a two year process. The first year requires a full-time commitment to course work that includes an in-depth study of theory, research, leadership and daily teaching of Reading Recovery children in a school. The second year is a supervised field year while the teacher leader provides initial training for 8-12 early intervention teachers and continues to teach Reading Recovery children.
Teacher Leader Selection
The district superintendent, or authorized representative of another administrative agency, may nominate one or more individuals for training as teacher leaders. Strong candidates will help ensure program success. It is strongly recommended that teachers apply and interview for the position within the site. If the district, or administrative agency, is successful in its application as a Reading Recovery site, the most qualified nominees from that district should submit their applications. Final determination of those selected for teacher leader training will be made by district personnel in consultation with the trainer at NLU.
The primary responsibilities of Reading Recovery and DLL teacher leaders are to work with students, train teachers, provide continuing professional development and support for teachers, monitor the progress of children, support the development of school teams, disseminate information, and participate in the Reading Recovery network to maintain their own professional development.
The teacher leader also works closely with district administrators to achieve effective implementation, operation, and evaluation.
Administrators are cautioned against stretching the roles of the Reading Recovery/DLL teacher leaders beyond their training expertise and beyond their ability to continue to perform their primary role successfully; otherwise, results may suffer. From 2008 RRCNA Standards and Guidelines.