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teaching in a prison(8 Posts)
So I've got a job interview coming up teaching Functional Skills in a prison. I've taught FS before in FE, but never been inside a prison before.
Has anyone worked in a prison or similar setting and mind telling me what it's like?
There used to be a long term poster called Hulababy who gave up teaching English in mainstream and taught in a prison for a bit. Maybe try an advanced search on her name? Don't know if she is here anymore.
Yes, I have and I did mostly really enjoy it.
It has very similar problems to mainstream though, in that it is underfunded, contracts change regularly, can be corrupt, you don't have access to resources that you would consider commonplace.
With the prisoners it would depend in what category of prison, sentence time of prisoners (when I worked in a YOI they were moved around all the time and rarely finished a course, in the Cat C adult many were working towards degrees).
Yes . My prison is a YOI and male B cat.
As expected literacy is low , many are non readers . You may also have a fair few of non English speakers ( some prison will have funding for ESOL )
On the whole you will find that as a non uniformed civilian you do have quite a lot of respect from the prisoners and some will want to open up to you as a listening ear. You will find you will have to come to learn about what is something you can let go , and other stuff you will have to report.
You will also learn that activities such as education , library , gym sessions etc are often seen as opportunities to pass drugs ( prison officers will be at the gate / door to education ) for pat downs so not something you will be expected to do, but you will be expected to keep an eye.
Bad pay but no behaviour problems, people turn their work in. They listen.
Dh did it before schools, said it was the easiest job he ever had and the most immediately rewarding He loved it
All work stays in the classroom, no work/planning outside. He finished and walked out the door and didn't think about it until the next day. Not one minute of overtime.
I moved from primary to prison teaching (functional skills) six months ago. Before I did so I started this thread to get some ideas on it:
It's been a positive change for me but it's not without its issues.
Pros include a great work/life balance. I work 40 hours a week at most and very little of this is done at home - maybe printing off the odd resource, finding a news article to photocopy but nothing at all comparable to working in a school setting.
I also now have an enhanced perspective on life talking to a vast range people who have been through all sorts of things and it's really made me appreciate what I have. I feel I'm making a difference to people's lives.
Small class sizes - I had four men in both my classes today - the most I'll get is eight.
Learners are somewhat lairy but generally pleasant and respectful and are dealt with effectively if they step out of line. I feel safe.
Cons include faintly depressing working conditions. Facilities like toilets and staffroom not great.
It takes ages to get anywhere - if I forget to photocopy something five minutes before a lesson starts I have to unlock and lock my way through about 15 doors and gates - it's a pain.
I work in a remand prison so the cohort changes constantly and learners are all at different stages in the class which can sometimes be quite hard to keep track of. If you can get yourself in a Cat C or D prison the cohort should be more stable.
Spice - it's not unusual to have to send people back because they're off their face at 8.30am.
Oh yeah - three hour lessons.
Overall though I am really enjoying it at the moment. I may have to look at something else in a couple of years as I'm near the top of the teaching pay grade already but it's good for now.
Hope this helps.
That's all really helpful!
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