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A reading specialist fulfills two distinct kinds of responsibilities, depending on the nature of their contribution. The specialist may fulfill their responsibility as both a teacher and as a thought leader in the realm of literacy. When employed as a teacher, the specialist will be primarily concerned with directly ensuring that students are adequately instructed in the categories of reading comprehension and critical thinking in terms of literature.

Literacy And Reading Comprehension

Because literacy remains such a high educational priority for people of all ages, being able to instill strong reading skills in young students is one of the most highly impactful ways that an educational provider can adjust the prospects of entire communities. These specialists do not simply help students become better able at determining what the words objectively say on paper, but also support their ability to draw inferences from the underlying meaning of what it is that they read in the first place.

As a teacher, a reading specialist will need to first be able to determine exactly where on the spectrum of proficiency their students are in terms of reading comprehension. Depending on the  level of literacy  that a student has, they may be emerging, at the intermediate level, or transitioning into an advanced state of proficiency. Based on exactly where their students are in the progression of their skills, a specialist can alter their approach to give the most relevant kind of instruction for the best chance of positive reception.

Reading specialists understand that determining the meaning of text is not simply a matter of knowing what is written, but how to best interpret the meaning of what has been delivered by the writer on a deeper level. In a sense, a specialist could be said to be an instructor who effectively helps their students learn how to read both the words and the words beneath the words.

Shaping Curricula

When the specialist isn’t directly helping students develop strong reading skills, they may be employed as an overall literacy leader. As a leader in the realm of literacy, the specialist will be tasked with making sure that the programs put in place to assist all students in developing stronger literary skills have been optimized for their success.

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While employed as a literacy leader, the specialist will make sure that all of the most effective kind of literature has been used to supplement the effectiveness of every area of curriculum. Strengthening the basic curriculum structure provides a powerful foundation for all staff members to develop their course work in tandem with what is been identified as the most effective approach to better literacy instruction.


In addition to reading specialists teaching their students directly, they ensure that the very system itself is developed in such a way that provides the best possible outlook for all who participate in it. The specialist in a position of literacy leadership will also be responsible for ensuring that the best people are put in position to both coach and support teachers in the most effective ways to deliver strong literacy skills to their students.

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