Because struggling readers have a history of struggling, they can be very closed off and resistant to working on their reading skills. Not because they don’t want to succeed, but because they don’t believe they will succeed. As a result of this, it is very important when working with a struggling reader that you are very confident in the effectiveness of your approach. You should always do your best to use research-based best practices that are explicit, systematic, and multi-sensory. If you can’t deliver quality reading instruction that is simple for a struggling reader to understand, you can leave the student feeling even more resistant and closed off to working on their reading skills in the future.
Once you are confident you have an effective approach for teaching struggling readers, here are some additional tips from Reading Horizons Director of Teacher Training, Shantell Berrett, about how to get started with working with a struggling reader.
The best place to start with struggling readers is letting them know reading is not out of reach. (Tweet!)
Struggling readers need two things: understanding and a safe environment. (Tweet!)
Reading problems rarely have anything to do with intelligence. (Tweet!)
Reading problems are usually the result of the way the brain is wired or gaps in reading instruction. (Tweet!)
Make it safe for struggling readers to struggle while learning to read. (Tweet!)