Education is only one of the adult
learners’ responsibilities. They have
families, jobs, and financial obligations that require their attention. Most students
will place a high priority on their education, but it can’t always be the
highest. Sometimes other things in their
life must come first. We must be educators
who recognize this and accommodate learner needs as much as possible and support
students toward success.
There are a few general strategies
for respecting our adult learners’ responsibilities to help you achieve a
balance between consistent expectations and flexibility.
Be flexible.Policies, rules, and deadlines are important in maintaining control of your classroom, but flexibility will help students succeed. Provide students with options. Recognize they have outside responsibilities that can interfere with their education and be as empathetic and flexible as you can.
Limit the amount of homework
given. Yes, students have a responsibility to prepare for class. It is important that they are studying and
reviewing chapters before attending theory class. However, it is important to be mindful of
students’ time and other responsibilities. Is what you’re assigning capable of
being done during normal school hours?
With students attending school 6 hours a day or more, there should not
be much need for homework assignments. Allowing students to take control over
their education by having optional assignments may be a good option for
educators who would still like to give some outside homework.
Make sure assignments are
meaningful. Give assignments that
are directly related to course objectives and to students’ goals. Students will
appreciate activities that are goal directed, support learning, and respect
their limited time resources. It is more likely that they will complete these
types of assignments to their highest potential than assignments that don’t
offer much value to their education.
Create a schedule. Share your schedule and daily agendas
with students so they know what to expect each day. If they are aware of upcoming chapters, tests
and other assignments, they will be able to better manage their time over the
term. When they know they are moving
into a new subject, they can plan extra time to study and prepare for the new
It is important that we keep in mind they are
adults and they have outside responsibilities.
When at all possible try to avoid too much homework, and use agendas and
schedules to fill their time wisely while in school. Teach students to use downtime student salon
activity as a time to study and complete assignments.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.