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Teaching Careers in a Non-Traditional Setting

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Some teachers never set foot inside a traditional school. Many teach online, and others teach students who are unable to attend a regular school. If you are interested in teaching in a non-traditional classroom, you have several options. These opportunities to physically teach in a non-traditional environment are present in most cities and large towns.

Group Homes

Many children must live in group homes. Some are in group homes on a temporary basis, awaiting placement in a foster home. Others must stay at the group home because of behavioral problems that make care and education in the community impossible. Other children have special health needs that necessitate group care. All of these children must be provided with an education -- even children who are in the group homes temporarily. Group homes hire teachers to teach the children in their care. The salary will depend on whether the group home receives state funding for the teachers or funds the positions itself, with state salaries tending to be higher.

Juvenile Detention Facilities

Public school students can be sent to juvenile detention facilities while they await trial or can be sentenced to such facilities. As with group homes, these students must be provided with an education. Juvenile detention facilities hire teachers on an ongoing basis. Check county job postings to find these positions. Teaching positions at juvenile detention facilities often require teachers to go through physical restraint training, so you must be in reasonably good shape.

Drug Rehabilitation Facilities

When teenagers are sent to a drug rehabilitation facility, they continue to receive educational services. While in rehab, a teenager will attend counseling, therapeutic groups and academic classes. When you teach at a drug rehabilitation facility, you work to keep the student caught up with his work at his school. You may use the facility's curriculum or assist the student with work he has been provided from his home school.

Alternative Educational Programs

Alternative educational programs are provided for students who have special needs within a school district. Typically, alternative educational programs are disciplinary in nature, as the student has been removed from his home school for a time due to violating district behavioral rules. Some alternative educational programs, however, are set up with a flexible schedule to help teen parents to graduate or to give at-risk students who must work a chance to finish their coursework. These positions are posted alongside jobs in more traditional settings in the district.

GED Programs

GED programs may be administered by a school district, a county, a private entity or a college or university. Teaching positions are frequently available in these programs. You'll need to be able to teach English, math, social studies and science to a diverse group of students. Some students may have learning disabilities, while others may be English language learners. GED programs may pay less than other teaching jobs, and as the Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, are often paid by the hour with few or no benefits.


Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.