Saturday, March 9, 2019

SOL 2019 -- Day 9 -- What's Interesting So Far?

Slice of Life story challenge, March 2019
Day 9 -- What's Interesting So Far?

A old friend messaged me yesterday to ask me what's the most interesting thing so far about my new job as a GED teacher in a men's prison. I thought to myself,"Oh my! How am I going to answer that? What HASN'T been interesting about it?"

So here I am this Saturday morning, sitting down to try to figure out how to answer Sandy's question. 

To begin with, I can't possibly narrow it down to one thing. There are so many interesting things that have happened, and so many thoughts swirling around in my head, that I can't name just one thing. So I won't try to. 

However, with all the swirling thoughts, I don't really know where to start, either. So, when in doubt....make a list! :-)

Judy's List of Interesting Things About Her New Job:

1. The interview in October
I had never set foot inside a prison before, so I encountered all kinds of interesting things that day. From the time I arrived and went through security, to the tour of the facility among the inmates, it was one interesting experience after another! All the new sights and sounds could have been overwhelming.  I actually had one very brief (3 seconds) moment of panic as I wondered why I was considering leaving my beloved elementary school and a secure teaching job, to go into a world where I knew no one and knew nothing about life there. But I immediately calmed back down because I knew that, no matter what, I could do the job. Somehow, it just felt right. 

2. First day on the job and orientation
It was Christmas Eve, so it wasn't a typical day to start work anyway. From getting my picture ID made, to beginning to learn about policies and procedures and codes of conduct, to learning how to clock in and out, to receiving a "Man Down" pendant....Again, one interesting experience after another.

3. Corrections Training Academy
Corrections Training Academy graduation
This was a fascinating experience! I spent three weeks attending the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's training academy, and learned about many interesting things. Ethics, interpersonal communication, report writing, mental health, restrictive housing, use of force, first aid and CPR, religious services, and inmate rules were a few topics. I also participated in three days of physical training where I learned about defense tactics and subject control. (Note: Those three days of physical activity were exceptionally interesting, since I am not at all athletic and am not a spring chicken anymore. In fact, I was the oldest person in the class.) I took many exams during those three weeks, and graduated along with 60 or so others. Truth be told, I was quite proud of myself for the accomplishment. :-)

4. On-the-job-training
Back at my institution after the training academy, I began to learn about how things work at my specific correctional facility, and I began to set up my classroom. I teach in an old building which once upon a time was a boy's reform school. Everything was interesting about that!

5. Teaching
I finally began teaching inmates in mid-February, and have put in four weeks now. In that time, I've learned how to do various monthly reports, and I've learned a lot about the GED curriculum. Just yesterday, I finished my first end-of-quarter, those are a lot of work!  I'm enjoying getting to know the inmates I teach, and looking forward to working with them again after their spring break. The inmates are very interesting people!

So, there you are, Sandy -- I hope that answers your question! :-)

JudyK :-)  March 9, 2019


  1. I have always thought about working in a prison when I retire. There are so many who could use our help.

  2. The prison who cuts my hair teaches hair curring, what else?, to inmates at our prison. She enjoys it and always has interesting stories to tell.


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