HOW DOES IT WORK?
Accepted teachers commit to five to six clinical hours a week. Two of the hours are spent one-on-one with their student, a current DCPS student struggling to decode. 90 minutes a week are spent in a graduate-level course, which teachers take weekly with all other teachers. Up to two more hours are spent on lesson planning and collaborating with their Mentor.
The first three sessions are led by the Mentor, and the fourth is a co-teaching opportunity with the Mentor. The Mentor works with the teacher to diagnose the need, determine present levels of performance, plan the intervention, collect the materials, and execute the reading plan. The Mentor also observes 2 more sessions and attends the final session.
Teachers conduct a minimum of 20 lessons over the course of one semester (typically 12 weeks). They also write a comprehensive report on the student to be given to the family.
Teachers at the DCRC are compensated and awarded DCPS Professional Learning Units. They can also use a portion of their compensation to gain 3 graduate credits from Trinity University.
WHAT PREREQUISITES DO I NEED?
As long as you are a current DCPS elementary teacher, you can apply to the DC Reading Clinic. You can be a General Education teacher, a Special Education teacher, or an ELL teacher! As long as you want to truly learn research-based techniques, you are welcome to apply. You will need to be working in a DCPS school setting the semester after your practicum to fulfill the requirements. You will also submit a reference in your application.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The chief benefit will be learning to teach children to decode. If you've struggled, like so many of us, learning the tools to help struggling readers and you're tired of mediocre intervention, this program is for you!
Teachers are also paid $2,000 and earn PLUs for their service to DCPS students. A portion of the compensation can be used to gain 3 practicum credits from Trinity University. You can apply your work to graduate-level hours on the application for the reading specialist license from OSSE.
WHERE ELSE CAN I GET THIS TRAINING IN D.C.?
There are currently no Reading Specialist programs in D.C. at the undergraduate or graduate level, and no clinical practicums.
WHO ARE THE MENTORS?
Mentors are current reading specialists, instructional coaches, and alumni who have been through similar training and have a track record of success with struggling readers. They are assigned one mentee and tasked with his or her development. They are compensated for their work, which includes modeling the first three sessions, observations, virtual meetings to lesson plan, trouble-shoot, etc., and lesson plan feedback.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE?
Teachers commit 3 nights a week to Clinical work. One night a week is graduate class on Teams, and two more nights a week are the clinical practicum with a student at the Clinic.
Here are example schedules for our cohorts: Course Schedule - Spring 2024
CAN I INTERVENE WITH MY CURRENT STUDENT?
Unfortunately, no. Due to the nature of the program, we cannot pair current teachers with their current students. However, you should definitely refer your student to our program as teacher references are required for student applicants!