Adult literacy and remedial education teachers help adult learners to develop writing, reading and basic math skills. The learners could include immigrants, underperforming students, high school dropouts or any other person looking to improve his or her literacy levels. If you can work with people from different backgrounds comfortably and possess strong instructional skills, this could be the perfect career for you.
What Do Adult Literacy and Remedial Education Teachers Do?
Adult literacy and remedial education teachers are classified into the following categories:
- Adult basic education (ABC) – work with adults whose skills are below eighth-grade level
- Adult secondary education (ASE) – help students attain their General Educational Development (GED) certificate
- Teachers of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL)
Regardless of the classifications, the teachers typically:
- Monitor leaners to establish their strengths and weaknesses
- Set goals with the students and prepare for lessons
- Attend teaching lessons either in groups or on a one-on-one basis
- Motivate students to overcome their weaknesses
- Keep students’ records and monitor their progress
- Assist students to access resources, such a mental health services
- Instill self-confidence in students with disabilities
Although full-time employment opportunities are available, many adult literacy and remedial education teachers work part-time, often in the evenings and during the weekends.
They can instruct learners in individual or group settings
Adult literacy and remedial education teachers in the US have the following annual salaries:
Level of experience
Senior teachers (supervisors)
To become an adult literacy and remedial teacher, you should:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in adult education or English as a second language
- Gain some teaching experience
Adult education covers topics such as adult psychology, education technology, curriculum development and adult administration, all which come in handy in an adult literacy and remedial education teacher’s job.
After earning the degree, you can take up voluntary adult teaching jobs in vocational schools or community colleges.
Lastly, many states require adult literacy and remedial education teachers to hold a license before finding paid work. It is important to note that licensing requirements vary by state – So you should check with your state’s adult education board to determine its requirements. In general, however, they require aspiring licensees to hold an accredited bachelor’s degree and some teaching experience.
For more information on licensing requirement among states, visit the U.S. Department of Education.
Important Skills and Abilities
To become a successful adult literacy and remedial teacher, you should have:
- Strong planning and organizational skills
- Good instructional and communication skills
- Good interpersonal skills to effectively work with learners from various ethnic backgrounds
- Good analytical skills to evaluate learners’ weaknesses
- The patience to give students enough time to learn
- Good critical-thinking skills
This profession is becoming increasingly competitive. As such, you should work towards a master’s degree in adult education. This qualification will enhance your skills in:
- Developing effective teaching strategies
- Developing education programs for students
- Working with learners from diverse cultures
- Teaching adults with learning disabilities
Though not essential, you can take courses in linguistics to understand what your students go through when learning a new language.
To gain access to additional career development opportunities, such as conferences, you can join the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.
Source: Education Portal
You can look for employment in the following institutions:
- State departments of education
- Local authorities
- Immigration centers
- Adult learning centers
- Community colleges
As you progress and gain more work experience, you could become a trainer of adult literacy and remedial education teachers or be awarded supervisory roles by your employer to oversee teaching activities.
Finally, as per the Bureau Labor of Statistics, there will be 6,700 job opportunities for adult literacy teachers between 2012 and 2022. Many Americans will continue to seek adult education and the number of people immigrating into the US is likely to increase.
So, if you have a knack for teaching and a passion for teaching adults, then this might well be the right career for you.