Teach a Love of Reading: Reading & Literacy Education Degree

Reading and literacy teachers help students to master fundamental reading skills and to form an appreciation for literature. Most reading and literacy teachers love to read and want to share their love with others. Reading is an important skill for anybody, and teaching someone to read well can be very rewarding.

Reading and literacy teachers may teach in any grade from pre-school to high school. They may also be called upon to teach adult education courses in reading, or to assist in ESL (English as a second language) classes or special needs education. There are opportunities in public and private schools in communities all over the world.

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Reading and Literacy Teacher Education Degree Information

To earn a degree in reading and literacy education, you will need to complete a teaching degree program, which will include reading comprehension, literacy research and quantitative analysis, literacy curriculum development, and using technology in teaching.

You will also be required to complete one or more fieldwork or student teaching segments to complete your education degree and to pass your state certification requirements.


Taking online reading and literacy teacher education classes can help prepare you for a career as a reading and literacy teacher. When you select reading as your specialty, you will become immersed in the subject of reading. You will learn grammar, developmental reading, reading strategies and reading guidance in elementary school among other coursework. As a reading teacher, you will play a vital role in improving illiteracy in your community. You will also have to determine and satisfy the education requirements necessary to be certified to teach in your state.

Online Reading and Literacy Teacher Degrees

In addition to having to pass a statewide teacher exam, you’ll have to take several education classes. You might choose to take online course work in educational foundation, special education, curriculum development and how to manage a classroom. Several accredited colleges and universities offer online reading and literacy teacher education courses. These can help you teach in reading at the elementary or high school level.

Earning a Degree Online

Many accredited schools offer degree programs in reading and literacy education online. You can complete substantially all of your coursework in an online environment. Most education programs require at least one semester of student teaching under the supervision of a certified teacher. This requirement can only be fulfilled in person, and is often a state certification requirement as well as a degree program requirement.


A bachelor’s degree is the minimum credential for reading and literacy education teaching positions in nearly every schools and every community. Although some private schools are not legally required to insist on a bachelor’s degree for their teachers, as a practical matter, most of them will.

Your bachelor’s degree program will include fundamentals of reading, reading comprehension, measuring reading achievement and literacy assessment and techniques for teaching reading. You will also take general teacher preparation courses such as lesson planning and educational assessment.


A master’s degree will be helpful if you want to rise through the ranks to an administrative position or if you want to teach at many high quality schools. Some communities will hire reading and literacy teachers who have a bachelor’s degree but expect them to earn a master’s degree within a certain period.

Your earnings will likely increase with a Master’s degree as well.

Further Education

Many schools offer PhD programs in reading and literacy education. You will study evaluation methods for education, quantitative analysis, qualitative methods, advanced case study management, foundations of literacy, and literacy for different age groups or special populations. You will most likely be required to complete a thesis or project to receive your PhD in reading and literacy education.


You will take teacher preparation courses such as designing and preparing a lesson plan, educational change, technology in education and student assessment. You will also take specialized literacy courses such as literacy foundation and instruction, literacy assessment, and literacy leadership.

Career Opportunities

Reading and literacy teaching opportunities exist at every grade level and in every community at both public and private schools. You may also choose to become a private instructor, or to teach adult literacy courses. The opportunities are unlimited with thesis degree under your belt.

Earning Potential

Teachers earn anywhere from $35,000 to nearly $85,000 with a master’s degree and several years of experience according to information published on Salary.com. There are opportunities in every state and in every community. You may choose to teach at almost any grade level, and in either a public or private school system. There are opportunities to teach people with learning disabilities or to teach reading in conjunction with adult education and ESL classes.

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Reading and Literacy Teacher Education FAQs

Are there opportunities to teach at the kindergarten or pre-school level with reading and literacy teaching degree? What about teaching adults?

Yes, you can teach reading and literacy at almost every grade level. At kindergarten levels, you will be teaching basic reading skills and instilling a love of reading. At higher grades, you may be teaching remedial skills or teaching students with reading disabilities.

What are the state requirements for certification in reading and literacy?

Nearly every state will require you to have completed a bachelor’s degree in teaching, to complete fieldwork and student teaching assignments, and to pass state certification exams. You can find the specific requirements for your state on the state website.

I’d like to work with learning disability challenged students. Can a degree in reading and literacy education help me?

Yes, there are many opportunities for this type of role in communities everywhere. People with learning disabilities often need special tutoring or techniques to master reading skills. This type of work can be very rewarding, although you will probably need a master’s degree to earn a position at most schools.

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