Reading Recovery at Monaghan Education Centre
Some of our 2017/18 graduates also in the picture is Angela Healy, Teacher Leader, Sr. Elizabeth Connolly, Associate and David McCague, Director, Monaghan Education Centre.
Reading Recovery (RR) is a licensed, school-based, short-term, early literacy intervention. It is designed for children aged around six, who are the lowest literacy achievers after their first year of school. Reading Recovery involves intensive one-to-one lessons for 30 minutes daily with a specially trained Reading Recovery teacher. This series of lessons is individually designed for each child, based on moment by moment observations and skilled teacher decisions. The goal of Reading Recovery is to enable the lowest achieving children to return to working with the average band in their classes and to continue to progress successfully. The RR teacher creates opportunities for the child to problem solve and provides just enough support to help the child develop strategic behaviours to use on texts in both reading and writing.
How does a school become involved in Reading Recovery?
Reading Recovery is delivered by teachers trained on a year-long professional development course led by a recognised Teacher Leader, who has undertaken training with the International Trainers in the Institute of Education, London. Currently, Reading Recovery is offered to both schools with disadvantaged status and schools where need has been identified by schools and local Inspectorate teams. Applications are made in March/April each year by the principal through the PDST website (pdst.ie).
What happens in the training year?
The training year consists of 18 Initial Professional Development (IPD) sessions and four assessment training sessions. IPD sessions give practical advice for the implementation of RR in schools, and provide opportunities for teachers to share their individual concerns and experiences. During the year of training, a teacher is required to work with at least four children at any one time on an individual basis, for half an hour every day. Allowing for record keeping, the time commitment to Reading Recovery is half a school day every day. Reading Recovery training sessions include two RR lessons taught behind a one-way screen which are observed, analysed and discussed by the group training to become RR teachers. Further support, tailored to the particular needs of the individual teacher and school, is provided by a minimum of four to six Reading Recovery Teacher Leader visits to the teacher’s school during the year of training. At the end of their training year, they receive a certificate from the Institute of Education (University of London) and become registered members of the European Network of Reading Recovery. Although challenging and a period of great change teachers find the training year most rewarding:
‘active participation has helped me greatly understand course content and my own preconceived notions getting in the way of learning ’, ‘I learn from listening to the opinions and experiences of others’, ‘I know, without doubt, that I am now a better teacher and more importantly, a more open minded teacher who is aware that the learning process is not black and white but is laced with multi tones which accommodates all our learners, weak or otherwise’, ‘I understand the importance of starting from where the child is and what they know as opposed to starting with a goal in mind. The child directs the learning not the teacher’, ‘the constant revision and practice has helped me ground my knowledge’ (Teachers’ end of course evaluations)
On-going professional development is at the heart of RR and teachers are supported by six Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions every year. Teachers also continue to receive support from the Teacher Leader which includes at least one in-school visit per year.
How successful is Reading Recovery generally?
Each year, data is collected from each school and centre, using before and after test results. The overall success rate for Republic of Ireland stands at 93% (2014-15).The success rate in Monaghan is 98%. Even children who do not manage to accelerate sufficiently to be acknowledged as ‘successful’ have often soared far above their natural learning ability and continue to progress.
Who do teachers / schools contact if interested in training in the concepts and methods of Reading Recovery?
Teachers / schools should contact their nearest centre, where the Teacher Leaders will supply all necessary information or they can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Monaghan please contact:
Angela Healy 0868489071
Elizabeth Connolly +447803163043