Many people for one reason or another didn't receive the proper education when they were growing up and have to make up for lost time. Why they didn't receive their education while young isn't that important as long as they receive it eventually. It is better late than never to become educated and adult literacy teachers are those who can help people who seek the basic education in reading, writing, and maybe even learning English at a higher level. It would be nearly impossible to obtain a job without basic reading and writing skills in this day and age.
There are generally three types of adult literacy teachers which are English proficiency adult teachers, adult basic education teachers who teach those at the learning level of 8th grade or below, and adult secondary teachers who help individuals reach their GED. Those who don't graduate from high school would be recommended to receive their GED or general Education Development certificate, or some other form of high school graduate equivalency certificate.
If a potential adult literacy teacher would like to teach English they should ideally have an ESOL certificate to understand their student's second language, but it is not a requirement. Those who wish to teach basic education should have a bachelor's degree or masters in adult education. Again, it is not required but would help greatly when applying for a job.
Advancement for adult literacy teachers will vary depending on how far the teachers would like to go. Some may prefer to stay where they are at in their adult literacy career or others may want to become full time teachers at a high school or university. Some may also want to be private tutors to teach small groups or a single person. Adult literacy teachers may feel more comfortable teaching a single student or large groups.
Adult literacy teachers are needed because not everyone received an education when they were young. Some adults who didn't acquire the basic education knowledge may feel embarrassed or ashamed. Adult literacy teachers can help build confidence and self esteem for those who lack the necessary skill set to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.
Adult literacy teachers are expected to grow over the next decade because work employers want employees with more of an educational background. A few decades ago, while it wasn't completely acceptable, you could go straight from high school to working in the factories without taking some form of secondary from of education. Now, with the changing times, people have to change to their surroundings and become more educated to earn a job position. Also, with the increased Spanish speaking population growing in America the demand for ESOL teachers is on the rise. Educational standards are increasing set at a higher level and competition for jobs is fierce. Those who have the most education stand to have the best opportunities.
Although teaching positions will fluctuate from year to year with the occasional hiring freeze in some states. This happens because the number of qualified teachers sometimes outnumbers the teaching positions available or sometimes funds are not available to pay the teachers adequately.
Adult literacy teachers must have patience, compassion, commitment, and desire to help those they teach to learn, and motivate their students to want to learn. Individuals learn at different paces and not all will understand everything taught to them immediately. Adult literacy teachers must adjust their teaching methods to meet the needs of that specific individual. Teaching more than 40 hours a week can be common. Many adults have other obligations during the day so teaching night classes is also very common.
Earnings for adult literacy teachers can vary depending on location, experience, and own education. The average salary is around $43,000 per year with the potential to make as much as $76,000. Part time teachers are typically paid on how many classes they teach rather than by the hour.
Adult literacy teachers have a very rewarding position because they are making a significant difference in a person's life helping them become more suitable for the modern day. Those who have the desire to become adult literacy teachers are not only helping one individual land a job, but in the bigger picture making a huge social impact on society.