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Being An Adult Educator Is A Tough Job

2334 words - 10 pages

Being a teacher of adult education is a very demanding job. It requires an absolute commitment towards embedding real-life tasks into the curriculum to make learning more meaningful and purposeful for adults (Early & DeCosta, 2007, p.1). At the heart of it, teaching adults really is about being flexible enough to address the needs of an individual student; being creative enough to challenge adult students’ ways of thinking; and finally being sensitive enough to understand that some students’ paths towards higher education can be more challenging than ours (Early & DeCosta, 2007, p.2). In other words, a good teacher of adult education is a teacher who is able to inspire and motivate students to think differently, read and write meaningfully, and communicate purposefully. In this paper, I will present a critique of an adult education program that I designed and taught to a group of twenty-five adults for the Toronto District School Board. I will begin this paper by providing a brief overview of this program and the thought processes that helped me to design this program. In the second section of this paper, I will explore my biases and underlying assumptions about adult education, and how it impacted my teaching process. In this section, I will also explore theoretical perspectives through which I can approach adult education. Lastly, I will present two lesson plans that I have created through which I can engage my adult students in the learning process in an engaging, thoughtful, meaningful and constructive manner. Overview of the Program In the fall of 2010, part of my teaching assignment was to teach a grade 12 English course to a group of twenty-five adults, between the ages of nineteen and twenty-three, who were taking this course in order to achieve their high school diploma. This course was being offered as part of “Second Chances” program which had been launched by the Toronto District School Board to encourage students who had dropped out of high school to finish each credit course within four months. For most of the students enrolled in this course, it was their last course before they applied as adult learners to universities, colleges, or other vocational training programs. Since this was my very first time teaching and delivering high school curriculum, I began planning for this program with literacy goals, and key messages for learning clearly in mind. I created short-term, long-range, and daily lesson plans aimed at moving students towards those goals. I thought about what I wanted my students to have learned and experienced by the end of four months. My goal setting for both myself and my students focused on essential concepts, skills, and strategies that students would need in order to become proficient readers, writers, and communicators. In addition, I took into account the expectations outlined in the curriculum documents for reading, writing, and oral communication,...

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