Susan Vincent: A former reading recovery teacher, teacher leader and current university professor talks about reading recovery. An interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

My readers know I was trained as a reading recovery teacher. It has been a couple of decades since I have worked as one. However, in my current role pushing into K-3 classes via Zoom, I still use many of the effective teaching strategies I learned as a recovery teacher. I have blogged several times about RR. Here are links to some of those blogs.

Reading Recovery works: https://doctorsam7.blog/2018/08/10/why-i-like-reading-recovery-and-what-we-can-learn-from-it-by-dr-sam-bommarito/

Reading Recovery practices can help inform classroom practices: https://doctorsam7.blog/2018/08/24/what-i-learned-from-reading-recovery-and-how-it-helped-to-inform-my-classroom-practices-by-dr-sam-bommarito/

Once a Reading Recovery teacher, always a Recovery Teacher. RR teachers talk about RR: https://doctorsam7.blog/2018/08/16/a-message-to-reading-recovery-teachers-everywhere-well-done-by-dr-sam-bommarito/

The response to this series of posts was overwhelming and positive. Overall, they had thousands of views and there were well over 6000 responses on Twitter. As a result, I got to discuss RR with several different folks that I met online. One of them was Susan Vincent. Susan is an expert on Reading Recovery. She has been both a reading recovery teacher and a reading recovery trainer. Susan currently teaches at Miami University. 

I learned a lot of new things about Reading Recovery from Susan. One of the things I found out was that when Susan’s district looked at the long-term effects of RR, they found that the RR teaching stuck. When I asked her about the studies that showed otherwise, she pointed out that RR is a short-term intervention designed to catch students up.  My thought about this is that Reading Recovery sets students up to make normal progress when they return to their district’s mainstream program. However, if RR students return to districts where most students are making little or no progress, one would expect their progress to match that of those students, i.e., little, or no progress. Please note, that when RR students return to districts like Susan’s, where most students are making normal or above-average progress, then the progress of the returning RR students matches that of those students. In those districts, the RR teaching sticks. I now always ask the RR opponents who claim that RR  doesn’t stick if the studies they cite control for this very important factor.

Now it is time to have a look at the interview. Here are the topics we discussed. They are time stamped.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. (:20)

2. How have Reading Recovery & Marie Clay’s ideas impacted you as a teacher? (1:47)

3. Is Reading Recovery for all kids? (6:35)

4. Do Reading Recovery Teachers teach phonics? (8:49)

5. Final thoughts (19:55)

Here is the YouTube interview:

Next week I write about my interview with Lois Letchford as she shares her story about how she and her husband helped her son, who is Dyslexic, become a graduate of Oxford. After that, I will talk to Nickie Simonetti, an expert on Dyslexia, about her books on that topic. I also have begun arranging several other interviews that I will share in the coming months.  

So, until next week,

Happy Reading and Writing!

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka, the guy in the middle taking flak from all sides)

Copyright 2021 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization

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2 thoughts on “Susan Vincent: A former reading recovery teacher, teacher leader and current university professor talks about reading recovery. An interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

  1. Angela

    When working in a Decile 1 school the children would start reading recovery at the age of six, reading at magenta or early red. A few years later the three Year 1 teachers were all reading recovery trained and magically or maybe not, children were now starting reading recovery at yellow or blue level. The Reading Recovery training gave us in depth knowledge of how to teach reading. This is what our teachers need.

    Reply
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