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Excellent Reading Teachers

By: International Reading Association
Every child deserves excellent reading teachers — they make a profound difference in children's reading achievement and motivation to read.

Excellent reading teachers share the following critical qualities of knowledge and practice:

  • They understand children's reading and writing development.
  • They can assess a child's individual progress and relate reading instruction to a child's previous experience.
  • They know a variety of ways to teach reading.
  • They are able to use a variety of materials and texts for children to read.
  • They can tailor instruction to the individual student.
  • They can help children strategically.

Excellent reading teachers also use strong motivational strategies that encourage independent learning, have high expectations for children's achievement, and help children who are having difficulty. In addition, excellent reading teachers know that reading development begins well before children enter school and continues throughout a child's school career.

In order to develop excellence in reading instruction, the International Reading Association recommends the following:

  • Teachers must view themselves as lifelong learners.
  • Administrators must be instructional leaders.
  • Teacher educators must provide a solid knowledge base and extensive supervised practice.
  • Legislators and policy makers must understand the complex role of the teacher.
  • Parents, community members, and teachers must work in partnership and give opportunities to students to read outside of school.
Excellent Reading Teachers: Summary of position statement (April, 2000). International Reading Association. Reprinted with permission.

Read or purchase the full text of "Excellent Reading Teachers" from IRA at www.reading.org.

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