Becoming an Orton-Gillingham Tutor
In 1995, the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators was created to establish and maintain professional and ethical standards for the practice of the Orton–Gillingham Approach, to certify teachers and to accredit instruction programs that meet these standards. The Academy is the only body that certifies teachers in the Orton-Gillingham Approach.
There are four levels of qualifications for being an Orton-Gillingham tutor. These are:
- Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator;
- Associate Level;
- Certified Level; and
- Fellow Level.
The requirements are rigorous and comprehensive, because tutors have to have a broad understanding of the full breadth of the Orton-Gillingham Approach. There are no short-cuts to becoming qualified.
A Classroom Educator is qualified to apply the principles of the Orton-Gillingham Approach to modify and provide literacy instruction for a classroom or small groups. A Classroom Educator must meet the following requirements:
- A bachelors degree or higher;
- 30 hours of coursework taught by a Fellow of the Academy;
- 50 hours of supervised classroom or group instruction using the Orton-Gillingham Approach, consisting of 40 to 50 minute long lessons over the course of one academic year under the direction of a Fellow;
- Five observations of complete lessons by the Supervising Fellow;
- Readings may be assigned at the discretion of the training Fellow; and
- Application to the Academy with two letters of support:
- One letter must be from your Principal Training Fellow.
- The second letter should be from someone who is familiar with your work as an Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator.
Associate Level members can tutor individual students using the Orton-Gillingham Approach, and must have met the following requirements:
- A bachelors degree or higher;
- Evidence of completion of Academy-required readings at the Associate level through a summary of each book (see the reading list); and
- Ten entire 40-60 minute lesson observations by a Fellow.
- There are two options, and depending upon which is chosen, the following are required:
- Orton-Gillingham coursework totaling a minimum of 60 hours taught by a Fellow of the Academy; and
- Orton-Gillingham supervised practicum experience teaching 1:1 under the direction of a Fellow, totaling 100 hours over a minimum period of eight months to one year;
- Orton-Gillingham course work totaling a minimum of 60 hours + 10 additional hours on adapting the Orton-Gillingham approach to group or classroom instruction taught by a Fellow of the Academy; and
- Orton-Gillingham supervised practicum experience of at least 100 hours over a minimum of eight months to one year, 50 hours of which are 1:1 and 50 hours in a group or classroom setting.
Certified Level members have completed all the requirements for Associate Level, and have also completed the following:
- An additional 100 additional hours of Orton-Gillingham coursework (for a total of 160 hours) taught by a Fellow of the Academy;
- An additional 200 hours of Orton-Gillingham supervised practicum experience (for a total of 300 hours) over a two year period;
- 10 entire 40-60 minute lesson observations by a Fellow in addition to those in the Associate Level for a total of 20; and
- Evidence of completion of Academy-required readings at the Certified level through a summary of each book (see the reading list).
Fellow Members are qualified to train and supervise others in the Orton-Gillingham Approach. They have completed all requirements for Certified level, and the following requirements:
- Master's degree or the international equivalent; an additional 90 hours of coursework (for a total of 250 hours) taught by a Fellow of the Academy;
- An additional 300 hours of Orton-Gillingham supervised practicum experience (for a total of 600 hours) with a minimum of six years as a practitioner;
- Documentation of observations while teaching coursework to practitioners at the Associate and Certified Levels and while supervising such practitioners; and
- Evidence of completion of Academy-required-readings at the Fellow Level (see the reading list) and evidence of continuing professional development.