How to Teach Adults Life Skills

adults in life skills class
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Developing life skills helps ensure that people are able to function independently and responsibly. Although it’s optimal to begin modeling constructive habits during childhood, adults can still benefit from being taught life skills. Empower adults to take control of their lives by presenting information without being judgmental or condescending. This commitment to inspired teaching can lead to positive outlooks and corresponding behaviors.

teacher interacting with adult students
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Establish a positive rapport with adult students to retain their attention and respect. Combat negative feelings that often keep adults from seeking assistance with life skills by expressing your desire to provide both instruction and consistent support. Listen to students' concerns to formulate the best strategies for individual success. For example, some students may require more assistance with budgeting than other classmates.

teacher assigning life skills homework to student
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Assign homework to reinforce that learning isn’t confined to the classroom. This allows you to spend more class time actively engaged in activities. Get creative with the assignments to encourage compliance. Suitable activities include practicing for role-playing sessions, creating oral presentations and learning important budget calculations.

life skills students participating in group activity
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Develop interactive lesson plans. Explain that learning life skills requires active listening and participation. Challenge students to perform tasks that demonstrate understanding such as performing mock job interviews, or making meal plans based on dietary or budget restrictions. Including theses demonstrations and role-playing scenarios helps reinforce important messages and allows you to gauge individual progress.

student at grocery store
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Immerse students in real-world scenarios to see how they respond to different situations. Seek assistance from outside agencies to give students the skills and confidence to handle personal affairs. Suitable trips include visits to grocery stores, car lots and employment offices. Assign projects that build upon classroom lessons and test commitment to active learning.

guest speaker for life skills class
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Invite guest speakers to share useful tips with the class. Suitable lecturers include loan officers, college recruiters and local entrepreneurs. Schedule group activities during the visits to keep students actively engaged. Encourage guests to bring visual aids, which may include pamphlets, video clips and quick-reference guides.

  • Avoid singling out students who are having trouble. This can cause resentment, which can make them regress or quit classes altogether.
  • Allowing students to make lesson suggestions can help ensure coursework is relevant.
  • Letting students work in groups can allow for engaging learning opportunities.

Remy Lo has been a freelance writer since 2002. He covers a wide range of topics, from politics to personal improvement, and has been published in a literary magazine and several websites.