Posted by Christy Williams on January 21st, 2016
Adult educators are faced with a number of unique challenges and frustrations. Physical space, time, support and policies are often among the obstacles they face.
For many adult educators, their classes are not held in a dedicated space. Instead, they are sharing space or using a multi-purpose work area, such as a room in a library, church, community center, or campus. The result of this borrowed space is that the teacher is unable to create a static learning environment. His materials must be portable or limited for storage space. He may also lack wall space for display materials and posters that can be helpful throughout the learning process.
Adult educators also face challenges around time and collaboration. Because adult educators are usually part-time there is little time dedicated for colleagues and program directors to collaborate about their accomplishments and challenges. This model leads to instructors feeling as though there is insufficient support for the work they do.
Policies surrounding professional development, preparation time and decision making are also frustrations for adult educators. Professional development funding and approval is limited. Teachers are frequently limited in pay for preparation time and professional development opportunities. They are also left out of many decision making discussions that heavily impact their programs and students.
The result of these conditions is educators needing a recharge over summer break. A number of ways exist for educators to re-energize during the summer break. Among them are vacation, hobbies, reading, and other activities.
Vacations are ways to change the pace and scenery for adult educators. By taking the time to get away, or just avoiding the daily routine, teachers are able to relax and release the tension that is often associated with the rigors of teaching and testing. Staycations at home or a local hotel are a popular, cost effective alternative for vacations.
Keeping up with regular work schedules and life’s demands can leave little time for educators to indulge in personal hobbies. Revisiting hobbies can serve as a refreshing reminder that their work is valuable.
As educators, a significant portion of reading is field related. Taking the time to read for leisure during the summer months is a way to keep the mind active while giving it a break from the normal strain. Reading can also foster a feeling of fantasy or escape.
Activities are ways for teachers to shift their minds from their responsibilities of instruction. Choosing activities that are based on their interests gives them an opportunity to channel any frustrations as well as boost their personal happiness and well being.
Though adult educators are met with a number of distractions and considerations during the year, they have the opportunity to put those frustrations aside during the summer months. By choosing to engage in non-work related activities, teachers are able to rest their minds and bodies. Turning their focus to vacations, hobbies and other activities is a positive way to recharge and prepare for the year ahead.