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Teacher Credentials: Can I Request Them Without Insulting a Teacher?

by Wrightslaw

I’m concerned about the level of experience the special ed teacher has with implementing my child’s reading program. She is in the 4th grade and will start the Reading Mastery/REACH program at her school. My daughter is a bright dyslexic, socially well adjusted. She is a hard worker with a great attitude.

I asked the school for her qualifications and they told me they were not required to provide that information.

If your child attends a school that receives Title I funds, you are entitled to information about the teacher’s qualifications
Read this article about a parent’s right to know:

Last year this teacher taught her (using Lindamood Bell) in a pull-out class and she made zero progress, she regressed.

She continues to read 2 years below her grade level and had made no progress in these specialized reading programs.

I wonder if this teacher has appropriate/adequate training in this area. Can I ask that? Will the teacher be insulted?

There is no reason why a professional in any field should feel insulted if someone asks for their credentials. If they have the proper credentials, they should be happy to show them to you. If they get defensive or insulted, I have to wonder about their credentials.

One question is how much training the teacher had in the Lindamood Bell program. Many teachers have an overview or short course but don’t complete the full certification program. I also wonder how long tutoring sessions last and if this should be one-on-one, in a small homogeneous group.

This article about criteria for remedial reading programs may help:

If your child regressed when she was being tutored by a person who is certified in Lindamood Bell tutoring, I wonder if the teacher was implementing the program as it is intended to be implemented, or if she has sufficient training.

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16 Comments on "Teacher Credentials: Can I Request Them Without Insulting a Teacher?"


What about a disabled child who is identified as having reading struggles as early as late second grade, but they are now 6th grade and still not given any reading supports. What is the responsibility of the school? This is a child who is excelling in Math, Spelling, Science, History, etc, and even written language (with a few supports) but is currently said to be reading 2nd grade level (a drop each year from what was 4th grade when she was in KG) What is the law about supports? Currently the support offered is to place her on a modified diploma (which I denied).

Debbie M

Help, I have a MAT in Special Ed. Type 10 with no methods in teaching and took a job for a cross-cat class room. with 7th graders with LD, SLD, ED, OHI and EMH. My job description was changed 1 week before I started. I am forced to teach blocked math and science with no books and 14 students in a classroom for an hour and 40 minutes.
Doesn’t the law state that I have to be HQ or endorsed to teach Math or Science with no more than 8 students unless the school has a waiver?. Isn’t Cross-Cat classes yo be phased out by 2010? These poor students have been in the same CC class all of their years of schooling? I eat sleep and breath Wrightslaw and want to become and Advocate- Meanwhile, I’m living with IEP’s that aren’t locked up, each teacher has the legal hard copy and I have no clue as how to teach these subjects !


I do not think that it should even have to be considered that you might be insulting a teacher. Fact is; someone who is qualified should not have a problem with the question. If anything they should admire you for the concern. you are the parent .

i worked for five years under the leadership of one of the finest special ed teachers out there. i saw first hand what can happen when the teacher actually knows what he or she is doing. students flourish!!

it’s also the opposite when the teacher does not have the proper training or desire to learn. a four year degree may well be the means to get the job; but it does not mean they have the proper training.

ask away your childs future.


You are mostly correct- however there are ‘specialities’ in the special ed certification ‘in many states’-
Yes one could obtain a ‘cross categorical’ certification that prepares one to teach in a general way-and here in AZ that is what I needed to teach children with primary dx of autism- Most of my classes focused on MR/MOMR and OHI, as well as severe physical impairments- However! My district encouraged and supported me in taking many workshops specifically designed to help me have more training and skills to support my teaching assignment! AZ does not have a distinct certification for Autism (yet), as it does for OHI, Visal impairment, hearing specialists, or MOMR severe-
I continue to take classes ( such as PECS, ABA training, EDMARK, WILSON’s, Touchmath, and TEACCH) to ensure I have the skills I need!


To Joleen and all other SPED teachers-
Unfortunatly we are at a shortage of willing sped teachers! Any teacher willing to take the additional task of teaching children with varying needs, (more than an average class) and willing to go back to school to gain more knowledge- deserves a chance!
I began as an emergency certified teacher in SPED- (I have background in DDD services for 20 years too)- and as any ‘new’ teacher, I was green- had to learn lots! I am proud of my accomplishments, certifications and knowledge- and I am still learning (as all good teachers do)- I welcome sharing my credentials with parents- but this does not make one a skilled teacher-this can only be accomplished with time, effort and openmindeness! I would be proud to mentor any teacher willing to ‘switch’ over from general ed setting to special ed!