Career and Job Search Guide

Teachers—Adult Literacy and Remedial Education

Teachers who specialize in remedial education and adult literacy provide classroom and tutoring instruction to adults seeking to improve their reading and writing skills in addition to basic math abilities. Poorly educated adults who improve their basic writing and math skills improve their productivity at work and marketability in the workforce. There are three types of adult education specialists: English literacy specialists, adult secondary education specialists, and adult basic education specialists. English literacy specialists help adults with poor reading and writing skills improve their basic skills. Adult secondary education specialists help adults earn their General Educational Development (GED) degree. Adult basic education specialists assist adults with eighth grade educations increase their knowledge and skills. Most adults seeking these services did not graduate from high school. With more frequency, students utilizing these services are immigrants learning English. Teachers who help non-English speakers are known as English as a second language instructors.

Teachers helping adults receive remedial education, also known as basic education instructors for adults, instruct courses in history, English, math, and other basic subjects. Their teaching methodologies are designed for adults. These teachers often help young adults aged 16 or older improve their basic academic abilities. Teachers utilize numerous teaching methods to cater to most learning styles while emphasizing group and individual instruction. Since students have different education levels, teachers specializing in adult education must measure their students' abilities before classroom instruction begins. After teachers determine students' education levels, they often prepare individualized education plans for every classroom participant. Teachers must, on occasion, test students to determine whether they are learning and ready to move onto different curriculum.

Adult remedial education teachers often help students improve their study skills and provide them with encouragement to help motivate them. Teachers additionally assist students struggling with learning disabilities. If they are not able to help students, they consult with professionals trained to effectively assist students struggling with learning disabilities.

Many adults purse GEDs later in their lives to improve their marketability in the job market or attend college. Adult secondary education specialists help these students prepare for the necessary five tests required to obtain a GED. Students' knowledge in social studies, math, science, writing, and reading are measured by these tests. Teachers not only help students improve their basic knowledge, they also help students improve problem solving, communication, and critical thinking skills.

ESL teachers assist adults attempting to learn how to speak and write English. Many students with intermediate English speaking skills focus on improving their writing and conversational abilities, often concentrating on language uses in job settings. ESL teachers assist students from various ages, English language abilities, and other backgrounds. Students have different educational backgrounds, so some students learn quicker than others. Teachers often adapt teaching strategies to cater to students' needs, and they often make use of creative teaching techniques since they usually do not speak a similar language as their students.

All adult education teaching specialists must be prepared to teach before class and stay up to date with new research and information in their specialties. Students have the option of attending class, and they usually do not receive grades. Since educational software is frequently used to instruct ESL students, teachers must be familiar with educational computer programs used for instruction.

Work environment. Since they work with adults, these teachers usually do not deal with disruptive behaviors common in children and young adults. Adults attend class because they choose so, and have the desire to learn and improve themselves. Many adult education specialists usually teach in older, uncomfortable buildings.

A large portion of adult remedial education specialists teach part time. They often have other jobs but choose to teach part time while many acquire numerous part time teaching jobs. Teachers often work nights and weekends since these times accommodate the schedules of people with jobs.