Students who enroll in an adult development program will gain the knowledge and instructional skills they need to teach literacy and basic education programs. Classes in learning psychology, human development, and teaching methods are key portions of the curriculum.
In addition, adult development teachers should have strong written and verbal communication skills, patience, and a developed sense of cultural sensitivity, since many adult learners are not native English speakers. Typically, teachers in this occupation will have at least a bachelor’s degree along with teaching certification from their state. In some cases, employers may even prefer to hire instructors with a master’s degree.
Adult literacy and GED teachers will work with students both on a one-on-one basis and in groups. They will evaluate students’ strengths and weaknesses and target learning plans and assignments to help them achieve their goals. They may also work to help assess learning disabilities. The ultimate goal of these types of program is to help adults develop language skills and improve their ability to find work.
Degrees in education or ESL (English as a Second Language) are often most useful, but majors may be acceptable as well. Many states require adult development teachers working in government-run programs to have a teaching certificate. In fact, in some states there is a separate certification process specifically for adult education teachers. This will require a bachelor’s degree, approved field training, and the passage of a state exam.