Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers instruct adults in basic skills, such as reading and speaking English. They also help students earn their high school equivalent diploma.
What they do
Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers instruct adults in basic skills, such as reading, writing, and speaking English. They also help students earn their high school equivalent diploma.
Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers typically do the following:
- Plan and teach lessons to help students gain the knowledge and skills needed to earn their high school equivalent diploma
- Adapt teaching methods based on students’ strengths and weaknesses
- Emphasize skills that will help students find jobs, such as learning English words and common phrases used in the workplace
- Assess students for learning disabilities
- Monitor students’ progress
- Help students develop study skills
- Connect students to other resources in their community, such as job placement services
Students’ educational level and skills are assessed before they enter these programs. Teachers may conduct the assessments; however, sometimes another staff member assesses students. Based on the results of the assessment and the student’s goals, teachers develop an education plan.
Students in adult literacy and high school equivalency programs attend classes by choice. As a result, they are often highly motivated, which may make teaching them rewarding and satisfying.
How to become an Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teacher
Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers who work in public schools must have at least a bachelor’s degree and a license or certification.
Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers in public schools must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some community colleges may prefer to hire those with a master’s degree or graduate coursework in adult education or English as a Second Language (ESL).
Programs in adult education prepare prospective teachers to use effective strategies for adult learners, work with students from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, and teach adults with learning disabilities. Some programs allow these prospective teachers to specialize in adult basic education, secondary education, or ESL.
Prospective ESL teachers should take courses or training in linguistics and theories of how people learn second languages. Knowledge of a second language is not necessary to teach ESL, but it can be helpful.
Teacher education programs instruct prospective teachers in how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include an opportunity for student-teachers to work with a mentor and get experience in a classroom. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org.
Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers may take professional development classes to improve their teaching skills and ensure that they keep up with research about teaching adults.
Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers who work in public schools must have a teaching certificate. Some states have certificates specifically for adult education. Other states require teachers to have a certificate in elementary or secondary education.
The median annual wage for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers was $54,350 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,580, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $93,760.
Employment of adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers is projected to decline 10 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Enrollment in adult education and ESL programs has declined in recent years. At the same time, high school graduation rates have increased, reducing the number of adults seeking to obtain high school equivalent diplomas. As these trends continue, the demand for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers may decline.
Changes in government funding for adult education and ESL programs may impact the demand for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers.
Similar Job Titles
Adult Basic Education Instructor (ABE Instructor), Adult Basic Education Teacher (ABE Teacher), Adult Education Instructor, Adult Education Teacher, ESL Instructor (English as a Second Language Instructor), ESL Teacher (English as a Second Language Teacher), ESOL Teacher (English for Speakers of Other Languages Teacher), GED Instructor (General Educational Development Instructor), GED Teacher (General Educational Development Teacher), Teacher
Kindergarten Teacher-Exceptional Special Education; Elementary School Teachers; Middle School Teachers; Secondary School Teachers; Librarians
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- American Association for Adult and Continuing Education – This organization is dedicated to the belief that lifelong learning contributes to human fulfillment and positive social change. Of particular interest is the AAACE Learning Exchange for students and those wishing to further their career in the field.
- American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO – Founded in 1916, this organization represents 1.7 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.
- Association for General and Liberal Studies – This association represents both practitioners and scholars in the field. Provided is an impressive list of organizations supporting general and liberal studies.
- College Reading and Learning Association – This organization is a group of student-oriented professionals active in the fields of reading, learning assistance, developmental education, tutoring, and peer educating at the college/adult level.
Magazines and Publications
Adults who have a high school level education and basic language and math skills, have far more opportunities than those who don’t. Adult Basic Education and literacy instructors teach those basic skills… and also help adult students complete their high school credential. Adult basic education teachers focus on teaching reading, writing, and math to students… usually adults who have not completed high school and who want to improve their work prospects. High school equivalency and adult secondary education teachers prepare students to earn a high school equivalent diploma. Classes may include specific workplace vocabulary, skill development in critical thinking, and problem solving. English as a Second Language or ESL—teachers emphasize English reading, writing, and speaking for students whose native language is not English. Classes include practical vocabulary for jobs and daily living, and often, preparation for the citizenship exam. ESL teachers must be creative with their communication, as students in a class may not share a common language or read and write in their native language. Adult Education and ESL teachers work in elementary and high schools, community education programs, and colleges. Many work part time, in the mornings and evenings. Typically, candidates need a bachelor’s degree. Some states require licensure or a certificate to teach, while some community colleges prefer candidates with related graduate coursework or a master’s degree.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistic www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org