There was a time when, by the age of 21, you were expected to be done with your formal education and move into the workforce. Those days are many decades gone. We now live in a world where adults find more value every day in furthering their education, and even in pursuing entirely new paths of learning.
Of course, to continue to learn new things, one needs a teacher, and as more adults seek continued learning, more jobs for adult continuing education teachers open up. Explore the career path of an adult continuing education teacher, what you need to do to enter this path, and why it’s so important in our evolving world.
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Why Adult Educators are So Important
Adult educators fulfill an astonishing number of roles. They teach basic job skills to those who are seeking a career change, new work after being laid off, or different work after an injury. They can help those seeking a GED. They can provide continuing education. They can advance training, provide certifications, or a range of other educational services.
Adult educators fulfill a very different role than teachers in a high school or even college. For the most part, you’ll be teaching students who are there of their own volition. On one hand this means you don’t have things like grades to hold over their heads should they choose not to complete the coursework. On the other hand, adults who enter these classes are more motivated to see it through anyway.
In any case, teachers have to be at their best when providing adult continuing education.
Becoming an Adult Continuing Education Teacher
The path of an adult continuing education teacher is a great way for current teachers in other fields to find extra work. To enter this field you’ll need a deep passion for what you teach, and the ability to transfer your skills between diverse populations.
Whether you’re teaching a 12-month certification course, or a professional development course over a week’s time, you can find enrichment in helping other adults further their own education. You just need to know what kind of specific classes you want to offer, find a program that has an opening for you to teach, create a lesson plan and gather materials, and then recruit students!
The thing about adult education is that in general, you don’t need a license or certification. You just need demonstrated experience and knowledge in the field you wish to study. If you plan to teach through a university or community college, you’ll likely need some teaching experience, but not always.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of adult continuing education teachers are employed at community colleges, junior colleges, secondary schools, healthcare facilities, social services facilities, prisons, and other educational and professional institutes. If you’ve got outstanding communication skills, patience, outstanding organizational skills, cultural sensitivity and are quick-thinking, this could be a great way to supplement your income, or allow you to enrich your life and the lives of others.
For more information on becoming a teacher in your state, check out our state teaching requirements pages today!