Career Details


Teachers typically do the following:
  • Evaluate students’ strengths and weaknesses
  • Plan and teach lessons to help students gain the knowledge and skills needed to meet their goals, such as learning English or earning their high school diploma
  • Emphasize skills that will help students find jobs, such as learning English words and common phrases used in the workplace
  • Work with students individually to challenge them and overcome their weaknesses
  • Assess students for possible learning disabilities
  • Monitor students’ progress toward their goals
  • Help students develop study skills
  • Connect students to other resources in their community, such as mental health services or job placement services

Before students enter these education programs, their educational level and skills are assessed. Sometimes the teachers do this assessment, but in many cases another staff member does it. The teacher then uses information from the assessment and information about the student’s goals to develop an individualized educational program.

Teachers must formally evaluate their students periodically to determine their progress and potential to go on to the next level. However, they informally evaluate their students’ progress continually.

Teachers often have students of various levels in their classes. As a result, teachers need to use teaching strategies and methods that meet all of their students’ needs. In addition, teachers focus on helping students develop skills they need in the workplace and in life. For example, they may teach students how to read a contract or how to estimate the cost of materials needed to remodel a kitchen. Teachers may also prepare their students for further education. Teachers may work with students in classes or tutor them one-on-one.

High school teachers prepare students to take the test to earn the equivalent of a high school qualification. Sometimes these classes help students finish the credits necessary for them to earn a high school qualification. Some programs are combined with career preparation programs so that students can earn a high school qualification and a career-related credential at the same time.

In addition, teachers help their students improve their skills in communicating, critical thinking, and problem solving—skills they will need for further education and successful careers.
Personality & Interest

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Teachers typically have an interest in the Creator, Helper and Persuader interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Creator interest area indicates a focus on being original and imaginative, and working with artistic media. The Helper interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counselling, or teaching other people. The Persuader interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people.

If you are not sure whether you have a Creator or Helper or Persuader interest which might fit with a career as an adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teacher, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Teachers should also possess the following specific qualities:

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with other teachers and program administrators. In addition, they talk to students about their progress and goals, and must explain concepts in terms that students can understand.

Cultural sensitivity. Teachers must be able to work with students from a variety of cultural, educational, and economic backgrounds. They must be understanding and respectful of their students’ backgrounds and be familiar with their concerns.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teachers must be patient when students struggle with material.                                   

Resourcefulness. Teachers need to be able to respond to difficult situations and think on their feet. For example, they need to be able to alter their teaching methods to meet the needs of each student they teach and find ways to keep students engaged in learning.
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