4 Traits Every Adult Educator Should Have

Adult educators have an important job that is often forgotten. They often have to work with a mixed bag of individuals all with different motivations and backstories. Teaching adults also comes with its share of challenges and adult educators will often have to wear multiple hats at once. This is why it takes a very special type of individual to be a good adult educator that students respect and love. Here are some of the most important traits needed for adult educators to succeed.

Create the Proper Atmosphere

Adult educators often work in smaller classes and with smaller groups, which can have their fair share of advantages. For one, it facilitates dialogue between students and teachers, as well dialogue between students themselves.

Constructive criticism allows students to hear and acknowledge others’ viewpoints while expressing their own, which can help the whole group progress. A good teacher will create a no-fear environment that will allow students to perform to the best of their abilities. A good educator will also know how to take a background role during discussions while setting clear parameters and playing a mediator role as well.

If you want to learn the interpersonal skills needed to create the proper atmosphere in the classroom and cohesion between students, you should consider enrolling in the Rutgers University Online Adult & Continuing Education program. Rutgers is recognized as one of the best online adult education programs in the country. Their program will teach you how to build projects that involve students and encourages dialogue between educators and their pupils.

Challenge Thought

Students often need some form of guidance when it comes to being critical thinkers and forming their own opinion. You have to be able to challenge them and engage them in a debate so they can develop critical thought and learn how to differentiate between valid opinions and biased fallacies. While they may not directly tell you about this, most are in need of leadership in this area, and you have to be prepared to fill this role.

Be an Example

You have to be able to walk the walk and show excitement about what you’re teaching if you want to influence your students’ attitude towards learning as well. If you can’t give them real-life applications for what they’re learning, they might become disinterested as well. When you make them realize the importance of education and how they can apply what you’re teaching them to better their lives, then they might start looking beyond adult education after they get their certification.

Learn how to Reward Properly

People who take adult education classes were often slighted by the education system. Some were simply not attended to properly or were neglected due to a lack of effort or faith in them. This is why you have to learn how to lift up your students and motivate them to perform to their full potential. Your students need clear metrics and feedback to know how they’re progressing, and a few words of encouragement whenever you see improvement might be all that they need.


As you can see, it takes a specific skill set to become a good adult educator. If you think these traits describe you perfectly, then adult education might be a good career choice for you.