HOW DOES IT WORK?
Accepted teachers commit to four 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 observed by 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.
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 graduate 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.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE?
A typical schedule is below.
*Draft Spring 2021 schedule linked here
Commitment: 12 weeks
Student sessions: Twice a week. Each session is 60 minutes
Graduate level course: Once a week for 1 hour and 30 minutes
Class is on Tuesday @ 5:00 for Emery location // Wednesday @ 5:00 for Turner location
Monday 4:00-5:00 (Student Session), 5:00-5:30 (Debrief with Mentor)
Tuesday 5:00-6:30 (Class)
Wednesday 4:00-5:00 (Student Session)
Monday 4:00 - 5:00 (Intervention Session)
Wednesday 4:00 - 5:00 (Intervention Session), 5:00 - 6:30 (Class)
WHO ARE THE MENTORS?
Mentors are current reading specialists and instructional coaches 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 (both in-person and videotaped), in-person meetings to lesson plan, trouble-shoot, etc., and lesson plan feedback.
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!