What Joan Needs to Know and Remember First, Joan needs to know the characteristics of the students in her class, and she needs to realize that their social and work experiences have shaped their perspectives about work.

  • Are they mandated to be in the adult literacy job preparedness course?
  • Do they have only short-term plans for working? Although it certainly will not be true of all of her students, she needs to be aware that there may be a few who are not interested in long-term employment. They may want a job only to make the money they need immediately. They may have a history of others taking care of their financial needs.
  • What is their employment background? Have they never held a job? Have they had a steady job in the past? Have they moved frequently from job to job?
  • What attitudes do they hold about being a good employee? How do they rate themselves on a variety of characteristics important to being a good employee?
Next, she must be realistic about entry-level jobs that she is hoping to prepare these adults for.
  • It is true that entry-level jobs are available in most communities and not difficult to get. Businesses complain they can�t keep workers.
  • Many employers keep the hours of entry-level workers low enough so they don�t have to pay benefits. Even industrious workers may find they are not assigned enough hours to make ends meet.
  • Employers may stereotype the type of people applying for entry-level positions and treat them accordingly. The work-life of an entry-level worker is often frustrating for the worker.
For her own peace of mind, Joan must be realistic about how much assistance she can provide to these adults, what she can and cannot do effectively.
  • Although teachers can certainly help adults to see different perspectives about work, their lifetime experiences may be telling them something very different from what she is telling them.
  • Joan should do all that she can do, but she shouldn�t worry excessively. She must realize that her students are adults who are responsible for their own learning and decisions.

With these points in mind, Joan should recognize that she must be prepared for various arguments as she teaches and realize that the adults she is teaching will not see situations the way she sees them or the way that an employer would typically see them. She must be as open to their perspectives as she wants them to be to hers. You may want to consider specific situations that Joan might encounter in her class and specific ways she might deal with them.