Wednesday, March 6, 2019

SOL 2019 -- Day 6 -- Whole New World

Slice of Life story challenge, March 2019
Day 6 -- "Whole New World"

Wednesday March 6, 2019:
I sit at my desk in my classroom, eating my lunch while I check email on my computer and input data into the monthly attendance reports. My classroom is quiet; the school is quiet. The students have gone back to their dorms for "count", and then they will go to the chow hall for lunch.

This is not an ordinary public school. It is a school which is inside a men's correctional facility...a state prison. My students are adult men who are in Pre-GED and GED programs. They are inmates in the prison, and I am one of a half dozen teachers in the school.

I've spent the past couple of months learning about, and training to be in, this environment. It is a whole new world for me....such a tremendous difference from the world of elementary education, where I've taught for years. I've been teaching here at the prison for about three weeks now, and as I eat my lunch in the quiet classroom, I notice the sounds in the background....

I hear:

  • metal keys clicking in door locks, and wooden doors opening and closing
  • bits of conversation and laughter from correctional officers passing in the hallway
  • the buzzing of the metal crash gates being opened, and the loud CLANG of the heavy gates as they close
  • keys jingling in the pockets of employees walking past my classroom door
  • the hum of the heater blower
  • the ticking of the clock on the wall
  • static-y voices flowing from walkie-talkies
  • heels clacking on tiled hallway floors
  • the distant voice of a teacher talking to another
  • the hum of the floor buffer being run by an inmate in the hallway
Huuummmmm, click, bzzzzzz, CLANG, swishhh, jingle, clack, bzzzzz, CLANG, tick, hummm, ch-ch-chhhhhhh, bzzzzz, CLANG: These are the lunchtime sounds of my new world.

JudyK :-)  March 6, 2019


  1. Wow - The list of sounds pulled us right into the present with you. What a powerful piece. Thank you for sharing your work - I hope you have support you can draw on.

  2. I think taking note of the sounds you hear show the sameness of your school to a regular school, and the definite differences. I wish you well in your new school, and I hope your students meet their goals!


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