The learning specialist job description calls for an individual who is able and prepared to provide support to students who are falling behind or struggling academically. They are typically assigned to a particular grade, K-12, and work very closely with teachers, guidance counselors and principals, as well.
The learning specialist works with students, both directly and indirectly, to provide academic and emotional support; he or she is typically assigned a caseload and works with multiple students and teachers each day.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Learning Specialist
- Works with students, teachers and other faculty to create strategies that promote a greater chance of academic success.
- Implements intervention and advising strategies for teachers and students alike.
- Addresses poor habits relating to time management, lack of motivation, academic deficiencies and issues with goal setting.
- Helps students develop learning preferences for more effective studying.
- Assists teachers with preparing students for standardized testing.
- Helps teachers and other staff in the identification of students who would benefit from intervention.
- Utilizes effective tutoring to help students correct their issues with learning.
- Establishes positive relationships between students, teachers, parents, principals, guidance counselors and others in order to ensure a collaborative effort.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrates the ability to work with children of all ages who are dealing with various learning troubles.
- Possesses excellent teaching skills and the ability to intervene when children fall behind their peers academically.
- Exhibits outstanding organization and time management skills for managing a large workload.
- Displays highly effective communication skills geared to various age groups.
- Is able to work well independently and with very limited supervision.
- Possesses the ability to make decisions based on factual evidence and observation.
- Demonstrates the ability to use multiple techniques to help students develop study, learning and testing skills.
Education and Experience
In order to work as a learning specialist, an individual must possess at least a Bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited college or university; many employers prefer Master’s degrees in a relevant field. He or she must also possess a teaching license in his or her state of employment as well as certification in special education. Those who are bilingual or multilingual often receive special consideration as do those who have experience working one-on-one with students who are having learning difficulties.
The learning specialist works in a climate-controlled school environment and may be required to travel to various schools in the system throughout the course of the day. While the majority of his or her work is completed during normal school hours, he or she will often need to work from home or an office in order to research student performance or create learning plans. Very little physical labor is required with this job, but working with different students and maintaining a large caseload can be stressful.
The average learning specialist salary across the country is about $65,653 per year. However, the amount of money he or she earns is highly dependent upon the employer and the amount of experience he or she possesses. For instance, an individual working for a private school who has several years’ experience and a relevant Master’s degree can earn upward of $80,000 per year. Conversely, an individual who has little to no experience and who works for a smaller public school system may earn as little as $35,000 per year.